Agosto 13, 2004

Modern Pentathlon

Jen gives a brief (very brief) history of the Olympics. In it, she mentions, "Many of the events are still reminiscent of the warfare games from the ancient Olympics..."

One that is, but on the surface looks like a bunch of random stuff strung together, is the Modern Pentathlon: Running, swimming, equestrien, shooting, and fencing. Five events ("penta" for five, "athlon" because I'm failing in my Dave Barry imitation) that represent a Napoleonic-era soldier trying to deliver a message. In order to carry the message, he may have to run, swim, or ride a horse to get from Point A to Point B; as he travels from Point A to Point B, he may have to defend himself, hence the shooting and swordplay.

In the early modern Olympics, many pentathletes were soldiers, and competed not in a track suit, but in the uniform of their country.

And that's Victor's brief contribution to you the next time you play Trivial Pursuit. I now return you to your regularly scheduled History & Stuff.

Posted by Victor at Agosto 13, 2004 07:02 AM