Penta-what? No, it has nothing to do with geometry, but the number five DOES come into play. The last sporting event of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics is called the Pentathlon. Its name derives from Ancient Greece where the Olympics first originated. So, what is it exactly? Find out, right here.
Americans go CRAZY with national pride every time the Olympics come around, but did you know the event dates back to 708 BC Ancient Greece? The Greeks created the name Pentathlon using a combination of two terms – penta (five) and athlon (competition). Ergo, the Pentathlon represents five different sports mixed into one contest. These five sports include swimming, shooting, fencing, equestrianism, and cross country running. Think of it as a Tough Mudder sort of thing, where it’s one race, with one winner, but you have to fight through multiple obstacles.
In Roman times, the Pentathlon events were a little different, consisting of the long jump, javelin and discus throwing, stadion — a short foot race, and wresting. Pentathlon athletes were considered the strongest group of individuals in the Olympics, and the Katniss Everdeens of their time. In addition to the Olympics, Pentathlon games are considered a type of military training since a lot of the physical skills go hand in hand. The military actually adopted the Greek name into two of their training programs — the Naval and Aeronautical Pentathlon.
The Modern Pentathlon, featuring both men’s and women’s competitions, joined the Olympics in 1912 when Stockholm, Sweden was the hosting country. In just ONE day, our Olympians will compete in those five sporting events with the goal of crossing the finish line first, and taking home the gold. The best Pentathlon athlete to date is Pavel Lednev, a Russian MACHINE who won SEVEN medals overall (two of them gold). To this day, no one has been able to beat his record! Competing this year on #TeamUSA are Margaux and Isabella Isaksen, and Nathan Schrimsher.
HollywoodLifers, have YOU ever heard of the Pentathlon before? Will you be watching?