M25 Operator posted this link over at Michael Bane’s Downrange TV Forum.
A great read.
July 08, 2008
Modern Pentathlon: A Sport For Warriors, Not Spectators
By Jeff Pyatt
Less remembered in those same Games is the story of a young US Army lieutenant competing in the first Olympic modern pentathlon, an event designed to determine the perfect warrior. The lieutenant finished fifth but may have won the gold if not for a controversial ruling during his best skill. In the pistol shooting competition, he packed the bullet holes so tightly to the target’s center that, when two of ten bullets went unaccounted for, it was impossible to determine whether he completely missed the target or if the bullets passed through existing holes. The judges ruled the former despite his and many of his fellow competitors’ insistence on the latter, and, as a result, he was denied a chance to stand on the Olympic podium.
As history would have it, the event and the lieutenant would have vastly diverging fortunes. After 1912, the modern pentathlon – a quirky sport similar to the triathlon except with guns, swords and horses for bikes — would become one of the most overlooked events of the Olympics. Meanwhile, the American who finished a disappointing but respectable fifth, Lt. George S. Patton, would go on to stake his claim as the perfect warrior on the real battlefield becoming one of the greatest — if not the greatest — field generals in history.