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Swimming in pentathlon competition

"The most perfect sportsmen, therefore, are the Pentathletes because in their bodies strength and speed are combined in beautiful harmony."


Equestrian in Pentathlon
Run in Modern Pentathlon 2004 Olympics
Shooting in Modern Pentathlon
Fencing in Modern Pentathlon
Modern Pentathlon USA

Explore this fantastic sport that was made just for the Olympics. Since its conception and introduction at the 5th Olympic Games in Stockholm (Sweden), individuals who participate in Pentathlon enjoy the prestigious title of the World's Perfect Athlete. Containing five different disciplines, each one stresses the mental and physical aspects of the human sprit. The Modern Modern Pentathlon combines fencing (of course!), shooting, running, riding a horse (after 18 years of age), and swimming into one grueling day.

Here at Cheyenne Fencing & Modern Pentathlon Center, we have the unique ability to be able to not only introduce Modern Pentathlon at the beginner level, but to take individuals all the way to the Olympics!   Elaine has trained a number of national and internal champions. Dedicated athletes have  opportunities to train at the Olympic Training Center and maybe even see Olympic Pentathlon Team members in action!


Pentathlon is a great way to get the total package! Training focuses on running and swimming as the "base sports" with fencing, shooting, and riding to create a balanced, well-rounded pentathlete. Combining variety and fun, there is no better way to get in shape! Running and swimming are excellent for improving cardio conditioning and strength, and fencing greatly helps with your hand-eye coordination, endurance, and stamina. Fencing is also proven to sharpen your mental "Iron Will" and refine your natural reflexes both physically and mentally.


Shooting will challenge your ability to perform under pressure as well as teach you to be focused and controlled in every environment. Riding gives you the "thrill" of soaring over jumps and the pleasure of working with some of the greatest animals on Earth, and is great for improving core stability, balance, and communication. You will learn how to correctly pilot a horse in the "proper" English fashion as well as jump obstacles up to 4 feet high.


As you can see, Modern Pentathlon is a great way to get in shape and sharpen your mind. From the aggressive nature of fencing to the calm and relaxing attitude of shooting, Modern Pentathlon has it all. If you are interested in trying this great sport, just give us a call. We can setup a time for you to watch the sport in action or even try it out for yourself!

Click the organisations' logos below to go to their websites.

There was no Olympic Pentathlon for women until the 2000 Olympics.

Modern Pentathlon at the Youth Olympic Games, consists of four disciplines with fencing, swimming and the combined run/shoot. As in UIPM Youth competitions, the equestrian is not part of the event. The competition is in fact a tetrathlon

US Pentathlon Link

Team USA - Pentathlon


UIPM – Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne

Pentathlon Competition Description
Modern Pentathlon Competition - World Championship Level


The finals competition begins with round-robin epee fencing, in which each athlete faces his or her opponents, one by one. Blunt at the end with no sharp blade, the epee was the outgrowth of nineteenth century rules designed to end duels at “first blood” rather than death.

Accordingly, victory comes with one touch of the sword anywhere on the person of the opponent- which produces exciting displays of agility and endurance. An athlete who wins 70 percent of his or her matches earns 250 points, and accrues six points for each additional victory.

Recently the ladder or bonus round was introduced as the second part after the round robin competition and the last fencer standing gains extra points.



A 200 meter freestyle event immediately follows the fencing competition.  Each athlete who swims this length in 2 minutes 30 seconds earns 250 points.  Winning 3 points for each second faster than this time and losing 3 points for every second slower.


Equestrian Jumping

Unlike most equestrian competitions, which can turn on bond between a rider and his or her horse, the Pentathlon requires athletes to choose a horse with which they are not familiar.  They draw their horse at random; having no more than 20 minutes to become familiar with their mount before the event begins.

Rider and horse must complete a 350-450 meter course consisting of 12 to 15 jumps, which range up to four feet high.  A perfect ride garners 300 points, with deductions for errors, such as knocking down a jump, stopping, or using excessive time to complete the course.


Run and Shoot

After completing the first there disciplines the Modern Pentathlon become a true “race”.  Athletes are assigned a “handicap” based on their score at this juncture; with the athlete having the highest scores earning the advantage as they begin the Cross Country Running and Laser Shooting Event. 

This combined event requires athletes to run four 800-meter laps (for a combined total of two miles).  Upon completing each lap, each athlete must use a laser pistol to hit a silver dollar-sized target five times from a ten meters’ distance.

The first competitor over the finish line is the winner - and a testimony to extraordinary athletic skill, mental discipline, and sheer endurance.

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