Pentathlon United is an athlete-driven movement set up to create a new, dynamic and sustainable Olympic future for Pentathlon worldwide.
The decision to remove the Equestrian discipline was unfounded, unnecessary and reckless. It was forced through in the face of athlete opposition and warnings of the dangers it posed. The views of Pentathletes have been neglected and ignored for too long.
Now, it has threatened our place in the Olympic Games and the future of the sport itself.
We want to build a new vision for Pentathlon. One determined by the athletes, addressing the issues that matter for inclusion in the Olympic Programme and determining how to deliver it.
A sport is nothing without its athletes. Pentathlon United will ensure that athletes’ voices will finally be at the centre of Pentathlon’s decision-making.
Kate is a double Olympian who won bronze for Great Britain in the Sydney 2000 Games. She is passionate about athlete representation, having been on the UIPM A/C, Chair of the British A/C and the NOC A/C.
Eva is one of the most decorated Pentathletes in the history of the sport as 5 times World Champion. She was on the UIPM A/C and helped female MP into the Games in 2000. Eva competed in the Atlanta 1996 Games as a fencer.
Joe is the British 2020 Tokyo Olympic Champion. He started competing in Pentathlon at age 14, 12 years after he started, he won his first Olympic Gold medal. He is training for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
László is one of the greats in the history of our sport, as an Olympic champion (Seoul 1988) and 6-time world champion (across individual, team and relay). He also represented Hungary at the Olympic Games in fencing.
The UIPM Constitution and Statutes were not amended, and horse riding remains part of modern pentathlon, for now.
We understand that there is confusion and concern about what happened at the UIPM Congress in November 2021, particularly given the misleading press release the UIPM put out. We want our athletes’ community to have a clear understanding of the situation.
We’ve made real progress. The athletes’ community has achieved a huge amount, in a short space of time – imagine how much change we will make by the next UIPM Congress!
Because the German NF proposal was withdrawn, the UIPM Constitution and Statutes were not amended. Modern Pentathlon still includes horse riding. This was achieved because of the voice of the athletes and the moral courage of the Denmark NF to hold the EB accountable for its actions. All of our efforts were rewarded and recognised.
It’s disappointing that a vote was passed to confirm the EB decision to remove horse riding, because it gives an appearance that most of the modern pentathlon community wants riding removed. We know this isn’t true. However, this Congress vote is meaningless because: (i) the EB decision on 31 October is invalid; and (ii) Item 17 is illegal because the EB did not give Congress 30 days of notice. This will be part of the case at CAS, and we expect to win.
The UIPM President and EB have issued press statements declaring Congress a success and declaring that they have a strong mandate to lead the UIPM and to replace riding with a 5th discipline. This is not a surprise!
But in reality, the UIPM has admitted that it cannot formally remove horse-riding from Modern Pentathlon until the Statutes and Competition Rules & Regulations are amended by Congress, which they are proposing for the 2022 Congress.
So, we now have 12 months until the next UIPM Congress, when no doubt the EB will try again. We must maintain our momentum and our unity - we must remain Pentathlon United.
Over the next year, we must change our NFs. We must push for athlete representation. We must hold our NFs and the UIPM to the high standards of transparency, good governance and ethics that our sport - and indeed the whole Olympic movement - deserves.