Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern pentathlon believing the event would test a man's/woman's moral qualities as much as his physical resources and skills, thereby producing the ideal, complete athlete.
The modern pentathlon is an Olympic sport which consists of competition in five events in one gruelling day.
Competitors earn points for their performances in each of the five disciplines: pistol shooting, epee fencing, swimming, riding (equestrian show jumping) and cross-country running.
The total points scored in the first four events determine the starting order for the final event, turning the cross-country running into a handicap event.
The leading competitor sets off first and the intervals between that competitor and those who follow is determined by the points difference between them.
Because of this handicapping system, the first three competitors to cross the line at the end of the run fill the gold, silver and bronze medal positions.
Modern pentathlon is a true representation of the Olympic movement. The 5 Olympic rings are reflected in modern pentathlon's 5 events and participation from all 5 continents.
It is a true sport of the Olympic Games, created by the founder of the Modern Games Pierre de Coubertin and reflecting the ideals embodied by the Olympic movement. Modern pentathlon has to remain an indefatigable part of it.