The Pentathlon in History

Events in Sport


OlympicsOlympic Gold

1912-07-07 American athlete Jim Thorpe wins 4 of 5 events to win the Pentathlon gold medal at the Stockholm Olympics, medal stripped 1913 (played pro baseball), reinstated 1982

Versatile Athlete Jim Thorpe
Versatile Athlete
Jim Thorpe
  • 1964-10-17 In the first ever Olympic women's pentathlon Irina Press of the Soviet Union sets a world record 5,246 points to win the gold medal at the Tokyo Games
  • 1968-10-17 Björn Ferm of Sweden beats Hungary's András Balczó by just 11 points to take the gold medal in the modern pentathlon at the Mexico City Olympics
  • 1972-09-03 Great Britain's Mary Peters sets a new world record of 4801 points to win the Munich Olympics pentathlon gold by just 10 points from Heide Rosendahl of West Germany
  • 1983-01-18 IOC restores Jim Thorpe's Olympic medals (Pentathlon & Decathlon victories) 70 years after they were taken from him for being paid $25 in semi-pro baseball
  • 1992-07-29 Arkadiusz Skrzypaszek of Poland (5,559 points) beats Hungarian Attila Mizsér by 113 points to win the Pentathlon gold at the Barcelona Olympics; Poland also wins teams gold
  • 2000-10-01 Stephanie Cook of Great Britain scores 5,318 points to beat American Emily de Riel by just 8 points to win the inaugural Olympic women's modern pentathlon at the Sydney Games
  • 2016-08-19 Chloe Esposito of Australia sets Olympic record overall score of 1,372 points to win the women's modern pentathlon in Rio de Janeiro. Élodie Clouvel of France second (1,356 points), Oktawia Nowacka of Poland third (1,349)

Birthdays in Sport


Person of interestJim Thorpe

1887-05-28 Jim Thorpe, American all-round athlete (Olympic gold decathlon, pentathlon 1912; College & Pro Football Hall of Fame), born in Indian Territory, Oklahoma (d. 1953)

Versatile Athlete Jim Thorpe
Versatile Athlete
Jim Thorpe
  • 1904-05-19 Sven Thofelt, Swedish pentathlete (Olympic gold 1928)
  • 1913-02-23 Charles Leonard, American pentathlete (Olympic-1936)
  • 1927-04-30 Lars Hall, Swedish pentathlete (Olympic gold 1952), born in Karlskrona, Sweden (d. 1991)
  • 1934-02-08 Galina Bystrova, USSR, pentathlete (1957, 58)
  • 1939-03-10 Irina Press, Soviet 80m hurdles runner and pentathlete (Olympic gold 1960, 64), born in Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union (d. 2004)
  • 1939-07-06 Mary Peters, English pentathlete (Olympic gold 1972), born in Halewood, Lancashire
  • 1941-03-27 Liese Prokop, Austrian pentathlete (Olympic silver 1968), born in Tulln District, Austria (d. 2006)
  • 1941-09-17 William Grut, Swedish pentathlete (Olympic gold 1948), born in Stockholm (d. 2012)
  • 1941-09-19 Jim Fox, British pentathlete (Olympics gold 1972), born in Pewsey, Wiltshire, England
  • 1943-03-25 Pavel Lednev, Russian pentathlete (Olympic gold 1980)
  • 1948-09-19 Nadezhda Tkachenko, Ukrainian pentathlete (Olympic gold 1980), born in Kremenchuk, Ukraine
  • 1951-06-10 Burglinde Pollak, German DR, pentathlete (Olympic bronze 1972)
  • 1952-04-07 Jane Frederick, US pentathlete (Olympic 7th 1976)
  • 1955-02-12 Daniele Masala, Italian pentathlete (Olympics 1976), born in Rome, Italy
  • 1955-03-13 Olga Rukavishnikova, Soviet pentathlete (Olympic silver 1980), born in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk
  • 1958-05-29 Ivar Sisniega, Mexican pentathlete, politician (Sports Minister 1994-2000), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
  • 1958-07-26 Ramona Neubert, German long jumper and pentathlete (Olympic 4th 80), born in Pirna, Germany
  • 1960-03-14 George Horvath, Swedish pentathlete (Olympic-1980)
  • 1960-09-05 Rob Stull, American pentathlete (Olympic-92), born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • 1961-04-19 Richard Phelps, British pentathlete (Olympic bronze 1988), born in Gloucester, England
  • 1963-02-21 Michael Gostigian, American pentathlete (Olympic 16th-88, 92, 96), born in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
  • 1988-07-01 Aleksander Lesun, Russian modern pentathlete (Olympic gold pentathlon 2016), born in Barysaw, Belarus

Deaths in Sport


Person of interestJim Thorpe

1953-03-28 Jim Thorpe, American all-round athlete (Olympic gold decathlon, pentathlon 1912; College & Pro Football Hall of Fame), dies of heart failure at 65

Versatile Athlete Jim Thorpe
Versatile Athlete
Jim Thorpe
  • 1991-04-26 Lars Hall, Swedish pentathlete (Olympic gold 1952), dies at 63
  • 2004-02-21 Irina Press, Soviet 80m hurdles runner and pentathlete (Olympic gold 1960, 64), dies at 64
  • 2006-12-31 Liese Prokop, Austrian pentathlete (Olympic silver 1968), dies at 65
  • 2010-04-09 Aladár Kovácsi, Hungarian pentathlete and Olympic champion (1952, Helsinki), dies at 77
  • 2012-11-20 William Grut, Swedish pentathlete, dies at 98