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When the Persian military officer Tigranes "heard that the prize was not money but a crown [of olive], he could not hold his peace, but cried, 'Good heavens, Mardonius, what kind of men are these that you have pitted us against? It is not for money they contend but for glory of achievement!'"   Herodotus, Histories , 8.26.3


The Combined Events - PENTATHLON

Now What?

If a donkey develops an attitude, he ventures out on thin ice. Or so a Germany saying goes.

I guess I'm developing an attitude. For the attitude, I have to credit two people, Mr. Theo Heimann and Mr. Gordon Reiter. A few months ago, my long-time business partner Theo mentioned the great fun we all had as kids in Germany, competing in the "Fuenfkampf" or the Pentathlon. In training, we fought over the honor to be a certain athlete> "I'm Igor Ter-Owanesian", or "I'm Jesse and I will stick it to Adolf." we said before the long jump. Jesse Owens was still very popular, so was Armin Harry, Manfred Germar, Ralph Boston, Livio Berruti, Carl Kaufmann, Herb Elliott, Valeriy Brumel, Rafer Johnson and all the other international greats of the early 60's. If we ran out of names, we just said: "I'm an US boy" and that always was a badge of honor. We practiced to exhaustion with no formal introduction, we simply did it and did it over and over again. It was fun, no doubt about it. Gordon Reiter got me interested by example. I saw him compete in the pentathlon in Sacramento in his age group, M 55. Heck, I thought, I just have to do it, Gordon makes it look like the fun I want it to be. He's a competitor as well, just my kind of combination. So, I kept it in the back of my mind, looked up age group results and "sniffed" around the sport. Next, I bought a 700 gram Javelin and a 1.5 kg Discus, I got books and videos, I'm got a coach, I'm started doing baby steps with both, the javelin and the discus. Man, it was (still is) difficult!

Now, I'm totally 'in' it. It is my sport.

As pointed out earlier, I created combined event calculators for all multi events, all age groups and for both, men and women. Enjoy.

Combined events were considered to be the standard of versatility going back to the era of the ancient Greeks.When the ancient Olympic Games ended in 390 AD, there was a break of almost 1,500 years. This tradition was renewed in the mid-19th century in England. There is also news of similar developments in Germany at about the same time. The modem combined events probably began in America in about 1880. Combined events were held over a single day and became so popular that the organizers of the third Olympic Games in St. Louis in 1904, included a combined event as an unofficial discipline in the program of the Games.

In 1910, Sweden, as the host of the fifth Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912, decided to include a one-day pentathlon (long jump, javelin, 200m, discus, and 500m), as well as a two-day decathlon (100m, long jump, shot, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500m). In fact, because of the high number of starting athletes, the decathlon was extended to three days. There was also a change in the order of disciplines (between the discus and the 110m hurdles). The original sequence of disciplines was approved by the IAAF Congress in 1914 and has remained unchanged till the present time.

After my participation in a few pentathlons I'm convinced that I'm on the right track. I feel that I should move from specialization (i.e. middle distances) to the versatility that was so much valued by the ancient Greek. A sport that taxes and trains my whole body and includes a structured weight and strength program should be better for me, at least that is my theory. Now, I'm telling myself that I should move up to the decathlon.