Laser-Run City Tour: New and old worlds meet at Olympia (GRE)
One of the strategic aims of Laser-Run is to increase participation in the time-honoured Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon and there was a meeting of old and new worlds in Olympia (GRE) when the Laser-Run City Tour took place in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games venue on October 22.
Two other Greek cities, Thessaloniki and Athens, had already staged rounds of the LRCT, which has brought the exciting, dynamic and socially inclusive urban sport of Laser-Run to new audiences worldwide in 2017.
But there was a unique and inimitable feel about this event, which took place in Ancient Olympia within the festival activities dedicated to the Lightning Ceremony of the Olympic Flame of PyeongChang 2018.
The race was held in an area popular with tourists next to the Town Hall and reflected the Mayor of Olympia’s wish to involve more local kids in sporting activities as well as his intention to organize even bigger UIPM events in the future, including Modern Pentathlon events.
Olympia is, along with Lausanne (SUI), the last resting place of Modern Pentathlon’s creator. Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s heart is buried in the home of Olympism, marked by a monument in respect of his contribution to the modern Olympic movement.
Anastasios Pantazidis, President of the Hellenic Modern Pentathlon Federation, said: "The great success of the Laser-Run City Tour of Ancient Olympia has fascinated us and validated our choice of venue. More than 250 athletes of all ages enjoyed the event and gave us the incentive to establish Laser-Run competitions in Olympia on an annual basis.
“The Hellenic Federation of Modern Pentathlon praises the Municipality of Ancient Olympia for its organization. Both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Sport embraced the idea from the beginning and our cooperation will continue.
“There was an excellent contribution from the Masters students of the International Olympic Academy along with other volunteers who have provided considerable help and we are very grateful to them. The federation intends to spread the event nationwide and Ancient Olympia will be an example to be imitated.”
Laser-Run City Tour is a new concept created in 2017 to showcase Laser-Run to a global audience and give more and more athletes worldwide an introduction to UIPM Sports, starting them on a road that can ultimately lead to the Olympic Games.