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“Los Angeles, here we come”: Modern Pentathlon confirmed on 2028 Olympic Games programme

Modern Pentathlon
  • Historic multi-sport to feature new discipline for first time in Los Angeles (USA)
  • Coubertin’s invention enters new chapter as Obstacle era begins
  • IOC Session votes in favour of IOC Executive Board recommendation

It’s official: Modern Pentathlon will feature on the programme of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games following an endorsement by the 141st Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

IOC Members voted in favour of the IOC Executive Board’s proposal to confirm the inclusion of Modern Pentathlon, along with Weightlifting and five new sports put forward by LA28 organisers – Baseball/Softball, Cricket, Flag Football, Lacrosse and Squash.

The vote means Modern Pentathlon will continue its run of featuring at every Summer Olympic Games since it was introduced by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, at Stockholm 1912.

In 2028 in Los Angeles (USA), a head-to-head sprint Obstacle race will be integrated into the Olympic Modern Pentathlon alongside Fencing, Swimming and Laser Run. The Obstacle discipline is inspired by the popular TV phenomenon, Ninja Warrior, based on the original SASUKE TV programme by TBS of Japan. Los Angeles is where American Ninja Warrior is filmed.

With this new format, Modern Pentathlon is entering a new era with the potential to become one of the most exciting, accessible and popular sports in the Olympic movement. A timeline of the Obstacle integration can be found below.


UIPM reaction

UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “Today is the latest in a series of milestone dates that have defined the history of Modern Pentathlon – a sport invented especially for the Olympic Games by Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

“Today, we can say with absolute confidence that Coubertin’s legacy is safe, thanks to the faith in our movement communicated by the 141st IOC Session here in Mumbai.

“Two years ago, our Union was challenged like never before. Many times in the past three decades we had made dramatic changes to Modern Pentathlon, but this time it was necessary to execute a higher level of transformation.

“Through a democratic process, we came together to create the pathway to a new future, breathing new life into our sport with the idea to replace Riding with Obstacle. This discipline enables our sport to become less costly and complex for organisers, more accessible around the world and more dynamic and exciting for spectators and fans.

“I have many people to thank, especially the athletes who showed once again they are the most adaptable in the world, and I am proud to be the leader of a progressive sporting movement. Above all, I thank Pierre de Coubertin for the gift that keeps on giving – a compelling multi-sport that has given joy to so many people and will continue to do so, for the benefit of many generations to come.”


Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr, IOC Vice President and UIPM 1st Vice President, said: “The IOC Session has approved a proposal for the sport programme of Los Angeles 2028 that is very exciting and compatible with Olympic Agenda 2020+5. 

“I’m delighted that UIPM has earned the right to be part of this unique Olympic Games with a proposal for Modern Pentathlon that is accessible and popular with a universal focus on youth.”


UIPM Secretary General Shiny Fang said: “Today we turned the page to a new chapter, it means a new start in the way of working for our whole organisation, and the new assembly of all our combined efforts to push UIPM Sports to a higher stage and level. I do hope that the process of survival is something we can now leave behind, and Modern Pentathlon will stop trying to survive and start to thrive.”


UIPM Athletes Committee Chair Yasser Hefny OLY said: “October 16, 2023 is a date that will remain engraved in my memory and heart for the rest of my life. Modern Pentathlon’s official inclusion in the LA28 Olympics is a tremendous victory for future generations, including all current athletes who showed an exceptional ability to adapt and take responsibility in a very challenging time.

“They deserve to live the Olympic dream with all its beautiful moments, to compete fiercely for the Olympic spots, to go to the Olympic Village (the athletes’ paradise) and enjoy the dining hall and the fantastic atmosphere.

“I am sure they will give a terrific show to all sports fans worldwide. They can now open their notebook, erase the word ‘dream’ and change it to ‘goal’, because the dream has become a reality.

“On behalf of all athletes who to pursue our beautiful multi-sport, especially those who supported us in the #OurFuture campaign for the benefit of future generations, I am truly thankful to the many people involved in the transformation of Modern Pentathlon that has resulted in this show of faith by the International Olympic Committee. Los Angeles here we come!”


Obstacle integration timeline

4 November 2021: UIPM opens a consultation process to identify a suitable replacement for Riding in the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon.

2 May 2022: Two variations of Obstacle Discipline selected for testing after leading over 60 proposals in the race to replace Riding in Modern Pentathlon.

28 June 2022: The first Test Event of the New Pentathlon Discipline takes place in Ankara, Turkey.

6-7 August 2022: The second Test Event takes place in Manila, Philippines.

9-10 September 2022: The third Test Event takes place in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy.

7-8 October 2022: The fourth Test Event takes place in Zielona Gora, Poland.

12 November 2022: Obstacle is formally integrated into Modern Pentathlon - 83% vote in favour of Obstacle Discipline at the 72nd UIPM Congress in Monaco.

12-16 July 2023: First integration of Obstacle in a global Pentathlon competition during the UIPM 2023 U17 World Championships in Alexandria, Egypt.

26-30 July 2023: Second integration of Obstacle in a global Pentathlon competition during the UIPM U19 World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.

12-17 September 2023: Third integration of Obstacle in a global Pentathlon competition during the UIPM 2023 Junior World Championships in Druskininkai, Lithuania.

16 October 2023: Modern Pentathlon endorsed by the 141st IOC Session to form part of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games sporting programme.

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