While everyone was a bit shocked that modern pentathlon, which was expected to be dropped from the 2020 Olympic schedule during a vote Tuesday, was instead pardoned by the IOC in exchange for wrestling, the head of the MP’s governing body celebrated victory.
“We have promised things and we have delivered,” UIPM President Klaus Schormann told the AP after Tuesday’s decision. “That gives me a great feeling. It also gives me new energy to develop our sport further and never give up.”
Modern pentathlon probably got a boost in the IOC vote because it was effectively created by the father of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, for the 1912 Games in Stockholm. Though, as it’s a sport that combines five disciplines necessary to be a nineteenth century cavalry soldier – running, shooting, swimming, fencing, and horseback riding – on its face it seems a little outdated.
But the UIPM has actually attempted to modernize the modern pentathlon recently, including combining the running and shooting into a single event similar to the Winter biathlon.
The sport no doubt also got a boost from the hard work and back room politics of UIPM vice president Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., who happens to be the son of a former IOC president.
“We were considered weak in some of the scores in the program commission report but strong in others,” Samaranch told the AP. “We played our cards to the best of our ability and stressed the positives. Tradition is one of our strongest assets, but we are also a multi-sport discipline that produces very complete people.”
Liang Chow, former coach of 2008 and 2012 Olympic champions Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas, hopes to return to the Games with a new gymnast in Rio.
Chow’s current group includes three recent members of U.S. junior and senior national teams — Norah Flatley, Rachel Gowey and Victoria Nguyen (who is too young for Rio).
However, none of the 14 current U.S. senior national team members train under Chow. Ultimately, the five-woman U.S. Olympic team will be named in July.
In the above NBC News profile, Chow discusses immigrating to the U.S. from China in 1991 and opening his gym in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Plus, Flatley, Gowey and Nguyen discuss being coached by Chow.
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Four Russians who won gold medals at the Sochi Olympics were on steroids at the time, a whistleblower who previously provided evidence of Russian track and field doping said, according to CBSNews.com.
The report doesn’t name the athletes or their sports. Nor does it say any of the athletes failed drug tests.
A “60 Minutes” piece on Russian doping will air Sunday on CBS between 7 and 8 p.m. ET. An excerpt will air on CBS Evening News on Friday between 6:30 and 7 ET.
The whistleblower is Vitaly Stepanov, a former Russian anti-doping official who, along with wife and former Russian 800m runner Yulia Stepanova, provided a 2014 German TV documentary undercover footage and evidence of Russian track and field doping.
Russia’s track and field federation was banned from competition in November. The suspension could last through the Rio Olympics.
The “60 Minutes” report cites Stepanov learning of Russian cheating at the Sochi Olympics from Grigory Rodchenkov, former director of a Moscow drug-testing lab that was stripped of its accreditation by the World Anti-Doping Agency in April.
In a November WADA independent commission report, Rodchenkov was alleged to have requested and accepted money to conceal positive drug tests. He immediately resigned.
MORE: Russia track and field Olympic fate gets decision date