Saturday, July 28, 2012

World's Greatest Athlete --    

While the above title is usually given to the Olympic Decathlon winner, I do not believe that it is correct.  I believe that the winner of the Modern Pentathlon is more deserving of the title.

The decathlete competes in ten various Track & Field events.  The pentathlete competes in five totally different sports.
  • a Swimming event -- 200 meter freestyle
  • a Fencing event -- epee
  • a Track event -- 3000 meter cross-country run
  • a Marksmanship event -- pistol shooting
  • an Equestrian event -- show jumping on an unfamiliar horse
The obvious wargaming connection is that the event was designed to test the skills that an Aide-de-Camp  might have to use in the course of his duties.  This echoed the Ancient Greek pentathlon which tested the skills of the ancient soldier (actual events unknown to us).

Unfortunately the Modern Pentathlon does not get much "Western" notice because it has been dominated by Eastern European nations . . . and some want to see it dropped from the Olympics.

I, as a Wargamer, say that an emphatic "NO" to that.  Don't you?

-- Jeff


Ross Mac said...

Jeff, are you seriously saying that as a test of skill, endurance and athleticism that this military inspired event can compare with the Baywatch inspired Beach Volleyball?

Scottswargaming said...

I hadnt realised the source of the event; the ADC! Very interesting, thanks for that.

This has all the hallmarks of a classic event... Gods save me from the 'marks out of ten for artistic impression' brigade...