Open letter from UIPM President
Dear colleagues and friends of the UIPM movement,
In 2023 we initiated, accomplished and achieved incredible successes that should not be forgotten. The year demanded much from us, but it also gave us a lot in return.
We made every effort to keep our sport in the Olympics, and our efforts paid off. In October, during the 141st IOC Session, there was unanimous support for the inclusion of Modern Pentathlon in the Olympic movement, and now we have an opportunity to present the sport, with Obstacle as our new 5th discipline, at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles 2028 and beyond.
This opens up the possibility for athletes from a wider diversity of nations to fulfil their Olympic dreams and not only participate in the Games but compete for medals.
How did we achieve this?
After two years of hard work and challenging publicity, we remained true to ourselves. We connected with our history, laid out by the founder of the Modern Olympic Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, and surpassed our own expectations.
We worked closely with the IOC to fulfil and even exceed the desired requirements. However, it is also about integrating this new discipline into our sport effectively and creating a smooth transition for athletes. We achieved this by organising UIPM World Championships at U17, U19 and Junior levels with Obstacle, receiving positive feedback from younger athletes and coaches.
Despite these significant achievements and our daily efforts to make the sport more innovative, sustainable, accessible and exciting, we must not forget the current political situation in which we live. With ongoing wars casting a dark shadow over sport and the Olympic ideal of bringing nations together, we at UIPM fully adhere to the recommendations of the IOC and retain hope that sport has the power to make the world a better place.
In addition to these endeavours, we have achieved a lot and can be proud of our work. Each one of you has contributed to where we stand today, we can proudly say:
"We have been Olympic since 1912 and will continue to be!"
UIPM will always strive to act in the best interests of athletes and the sport to generate the best possible outcome. This year, we had successful World Cups, a strong World Championship in Great Britain, and crucial Continental Games in Europe, Asia and Pan-America where athletes took the chance to secure a quota place for Paris 2024.
We also continued to promote our development sports, hosting a well-attended Masters competition with participants from numerous nations and a large number of participants at the Biathle/Triathle World Championships in Bali, including para athletes who delivered a fantastic competition.
Take the time to reflect and truly appreciate what you have accomplished this year — because we can all be proud of it!
Looking ahead to 2024, there are, of course, important tasks ahead, such as the dissolution of the International Obstacle Sports Federation (FISO) and its integration into UIPM. We are also undergoing a rebranding to stay up-to-date and re-evaluate the goals, visions and missions of Modern Pentathlon.
Additionally, we need to continue our developmental efforts in emerging countries to be more transparent and ensure personal communication. Especially in the Olympic year, our focus is on sustainability, aligning with the Olympic Games motto, and further promoting the women's movement in our sport, striving for more gender equality in leadership positions.
In this letter I would like to make three additional commitments as UIPM President, based on three pillars of my philosophy – credibility, solidarity and universality:
Reinforce the CREDIBILITY of UIPM’s elected representative body
- We can strengthen the Executive Board as UIPM’s supreme decision-making body through transparent communication with and between our members.
- Let’s broaden the Executive Board to make it truly reflect UIPM’s geographic diversity, with fair representation for all nations.
- As elected representatives we can drive and implement sporting policy that enables the UIPM Administration to successfully service the community on a daily basis, with UIPM Headquarters becoming an open and welcoming home for worldwide Modern Pentathlon.
Increase SOLIDARITY and rebuild unity among National Federations and other key stakeholders
- Let’s continue to finetune and intensify the new Modern Pentathlon format with the integration of Obstacle, embracing new technology that enables the sport to have maximum appeal for fans, media and sponsors.
- We can renew and amplify our commitment to solidarity with fair distribution of the revenue generated from UIPM competitions and payment of all grants to National Federations.
- Let’s develop technical and administrative partnerships between nations and tailor-made programmes with customised options to meet the specific needs of each NF.
- Through clear and inclusive dialogue we can create – under the guidance of the EB and NFs – an international Modern Pentathlon charter that will preserve and perpetuate the values and philosophy of our sport.
- By working in harmony and strong solidarity with the IOC and other organisations running international sport, we can maintain our sport’s presence at the forefront of global sport for the benefit of all stakeholders, especially athletes.
Ensure the UNIVERSALITY of competitions
- We need to examine possibilities to increase the number of athletes from different nations participating in the various parts of our multi-sport Union.
- Let’s continue to develop the format of each sport in the UIPM Sports Pyramid and revitalise some existing competitions to be more inclusive, accessible and attractive to athletes of all competitive levels and socio-economic origins.
- We should also recognise supporters as an essential part of the identify of our national teams.
With so many exciting opportunities to make the world a better place through sport, I wish you all a peaceful time, quality moments with family and friends, so that we can all start the year 2024 with new energy.
With my best personal regards,
Dr Klaus Schormann | UIPM President