Pentathlon

This passage describes what a pentathlon is and what sports are involved in it.

Lexile Level: 930L

Categories: History Sports & Health


A pentathlon is a sports contest made up of five events. The word "pentathlon" comes from the Greek words meaning "five competitions." The ancient Olympic games had a pentathlon. The events were supposed to represent the skills needed by soldiers of the time. The ancient pentathlon consisted of running, wrestling, long jump, javelin throw, and discus throw. Most of these events are similar to modern track-and-field events. Athletes doing the long jump in ancient times held weights. They swung the weights to help propel themselves through the air. When the Olympics were revived in modern times, a modern pentathlon was developed. The modern pentathlon is made up of fencing, pistol shooting, swimming, show jumping on horseback, and cross-country running. The first modern pentathlon for men was held at the 1912 Olympic Games. In the year 2000, the Olympic Games added a modern pentathlon event for women. There have also been ancient-style pentathlon events held at the modern Olympic Games.


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