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Former IOC president's son is modern pentathlon vice president

February 12, 2013|By Houston Mitchell
  • Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. is vice president of the International Modern Pentathlon Union.
Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. is vice president of the International Modern… (Fabrice Coffrini / AFP /…)

A lot of people are scratching their head today over the International Olympic Committee's decision to drop wrestling from the Summer Olympics, starting with the 2020 Games.

The sport many people believed should have been dropped, modern pentathlon, survived. How could this be? Well, this might be a clue:

Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., the son of the former IOC president, is vice president of the International Modern Pentathlon Union and a member of the IOC board.

“We were considered weak in some of the scores in the program commission report but strong in others,” Samaranch told the Associated Press. “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.”

Many of the unhappy people don't even know what events make up the modern pentathlon. The sport was created because it features, get this, the skills required of a cavalry officer ... in the 19th century!

Modern pentathlon combines fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting and has been a part of the Olympics since 1912.

At the London Games, athletes from 71 countries competed in wrestling. Athletes from 26 countries competed in modern pentathlon. Isn't worldwide appeal supposed to be one of the factors considered by the IOC?

And let's not even get started on synchronized swimming.

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