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São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Professor da EEFE-USP; Praticante e Pesquisador de Judô; Preparador físico de atletas de modalidades esportivas de combate.

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quinta-feira, 7 de julho de 2011

Pentatlo moderno

Int J Hist Sport. 2011;28(3-4):410-28.

Modern pentathlon and the First World War: when athletes and soldiers met to practise martial manliness.
Heck S.
University Bochum, Germany.
In the nationalistic atmosphere of the early twentieth century, a nurturing medium for sports practising martial manliness abounded throughout Europe. This framework supported the invention of a new multi-disciplinary sport, aided by Baron Pierre de Coubertin himself: modern pentathlon. Though the idea of a new form of pentathlon was already born in 1894, it took 30 years, until Paris 1924, to establish modern pentathlon within the Olympic Games. This study is concerned with the reasons for that delay. It will be assessed whether the active military preparations around the First World War and the contemporary image of masculinity had a decisive influence on the early history of modern pentathlon. By including historical documents from the IOC archives in Lausanne, Switzerland, the research office for military history in Potsdam, Germany, and the LA84 Foundation in Los Angeles, USA, as well as literature on gender, military sport and Olympic history, this study offers an entirely new view on the early history of a sport that was born in an atmosphere of glorifying manliness and apparent militarism. The history of modern pentathlon thereby provides a particularly appropriate area for the analysis of connections between sport, militarism and masculinity. It was not by chance that the implementation of a combined sport, which included besides swimming and running the three military disciplines of shooting, fencing and horse riding, arose in a pre-war context. Though in 1912 the Great War had not yet begun, the awareness of an upcoming battle was rising and led to a higher attention to Coubertin's almost forgotten assumption of a new sport. In 1924 the advantages were finally admitted on two sides: the army recruited modern pentathletes as future military officers; the sports community appointed skilled officers as successful competitors. Thus the lobby for an Olympic recognition of modern pentathlon was found.