Op Ed: The Olympics needs a new pentathlon that captures the modern warfighter

| July 30, 2021

Modern pentahlon events

The Olympics, which apparently nobody is watching since they went all woke, has an event called the modern pentathlon. The event tests five skills and is modeled after the ancient pentathlon that the Greeks played at the original Olympics. The ancient events were to test the necessary skills of a soldier. Back then the pentathlon startied with the stadion (a short foot race), followed by the javelin throw, discus throw, and long jump (the order of these three events is still unclear), and ending with wrestling.

The modern pentathlon, similarly, tests what are ostensibly skills the soldier should know (or would have been expected to know at the beginning of the modern Olympics more than a century ago). The current events are fencing (one-touch épée), freestyle swimming (200 m), equestrian show jumping (15 jumps), and a final combined event of pistol shooting and cross country running (3200 m).

An op ed piece at Military Times thinks it’s time we update to a “more modern pentathlon” that more accurately reflects the 21st Century warrior;

EVENT #1: 100-METER BROOM SWEEP

Contestants will take turns running down an outdoor track coated with dirt. They will be graded by speed and how clean their track lane is after the run is completed.

On either side of the track will be large pits of loose sand. In the spirit of military cleanliness, if sand happens to blow back onto the track after the contestant completes their run but before the cleanliness is judged, the new dirt will count against their score.

Some may think this policy is unfair or point out that sweeping outside during a sandstorm does not make any sense, regardless of when the general is stopping by. But complaints don’t win gold.

EVENT #2: HEALTH AND COMFORT SCRAMBLE

We’ve all been there. Maybe you have a bottle of beer, some liquor or even that 155mm high explosive shell you reported fired but snuck into your bag instead. Suddenly, the military police are doing a surprise inspection of the barracks and you must hide it all — and fast.

The health and comfort scramble will simulate that experience by placing contestants in a standard barracks room with 10 randomly assigned contraband items. Contestants will have five minutes to dispose of, or hide, said items before the room is thoroughly inspected. Each contestant will receive a point for every item successfully hidden.

If alcohol happens to be one of the randomly selected items, contestants are permitted to quickly drink it as a disposal option. But if their breath indicates heavy drinking, they get zero points for the round. Select mouthwashes are provided by the IOC, so it would behoove contestants to operate accordingly.

EVENT #3: CHANGE OF COMMAND ENDURANCE TEST

Every troop’s favorite ceremony is the change of command. Standing for hours at a time under a hot sun and listening to interminable speeches can test the durability of the very best.

For this event, contestants will stand on a surprisingly green patch of grass under a heat lamp set to 110 degrees Fahrenheit while alternating between parade rest and the position of attention. During this time, a loudspeaker blares the words of a stranger who repeatedly thanks people no contestant has ever heard of.

While the other events will permit contestants to wear preferred athletic gear along with a glow belt for safety, the Change of Command Endurance Test will require a three-piece suit. (Glow belts will still be required.)

Contestants will earn points based on how long they can stand before passing out, falling asleep or simply quitting out of sheer frustration with the speaker.

EVENT #4: SKATING

Modern members of the military are excellent skaters, adapting like chameleons to environments to avoid trash pickup, sand-raking, squad bay-sweeping and other tedious acts that plague their daily existence.

Thus, the fourth event will put those hide-and-seek skating skills to the test.

Contestants will spend five hours in either a recreated motor pool, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer or barracks, and will be tasked to hide from judges eager to task them with the aforementioned work.

To increase watchability, contestants will be given phones that allow them to interact with fans via social platforms oft-used by service members, such as Facebook and Tinder, therefore providing the true skating experience.

The contestant who skates the longest will earn the most points, with bonus points given to the contestant who arranges the most Tinder dates during the allotted time period. If a contestant successfully gets engaged while skating, they automatically win the event.

EVENT #5: TWO-MILE RUN

The final event of the Even More Modern Pentathlon, trademark still pending, will be a simple two-mile run, because that is somehow a requirement for any measure of military fitness.

The run will feature a staggered start in which a math nerd calculates the scores from previous events to determine who is deserving of a head start.

While most athletes will run two miles, any participant who happens to be a Marine or Marine veteran will be required to run three miles for some unknown reason.

Contestants who finish in the bottom 10 percent of the events are barred from future Olympic games and will lose a half-month salary.

With these events, the Even More Modern Pentathlon, trademark pending, will carry on the Olympic tradition alongside the evolution of warfare from the ancient Greeks to the modern day. Do you have what it takes?

Category: "Truth or fiction?", Satire

Comments (36)

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  1. MustangCryppie says:

    If the Olympics disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn’t shed a tear cause I wouldn’t even notice.

    • Green Thumb says:

      We started this trend when we started letting professional athletes compete. Think Dream Team.

      Now they just do not have time due to vacations, rap contracts, commercial, shoe endorsements, “injuries”, safety concerns, etc.

      We kept being so pissed that we were being outdone by the Soviets, we threw future considerations and consequences to the wind.

  2. STSC(SW/SS) says:

    The Olympics died when they started letting professional athletes play. When the modern Olympics started it was all about sportsmanship and representing your country. Now it’s all about “me” and many here in here in the US hate their country.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      Yes… with amateurs, you saw some real gusty performances. With the pros participating, it’s just another attention ho moment.

  3. Ret_25X says:

    No hurry up and wait event? How can it be “modern” if there is no hurry up and wait event?

    I spent at least 20 of my 29 years waiting on something to happen…

    LOL

  4. USAFRetired says:

    Jim Thorpe won the Penthalon in 1912 by being first in broad jump, 200 meter, discus, 1500 meters and 3rd in javelin.

    In the same Olympics George Patton competed in the modern Pentathlon. He shot a .38 and they only found 17/20 shots. He later claimed some went through previous holes. (Everyone else was shooting .22s

  5. USAF RET says:

    You forgot the EO PowerPoint Marathon. You blink – you are out

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      I like that…

    • Martinjmpr says:

      My understanding is that the power point marathon has been condemned for cruelty to everyone involved.

      I have heard rumors, though, that it’s still used as an interrogation technique by the CIA at Guantanamo Bay. I don’t think anyone makes it past slide 13 before they spill their guts.

  6. Tallywhagger says:

    Some of you geezers or semi-geezers may recall when contestants were amateurs who had actual real jobs in the real world and pursued their sporting, athletic or competitive interest as part of the fullness in their lives.

    Granted, the Russians and some of other disfavored nations “employed” representatives of their states as olympian candidates.

    Unfortunately, the authenticity of having compensated or sponsored participants has devolved into another commercial programming event, replete with virtue signaling, contempt, posturing and defective personality participation gimmicks.

    Better that the premise be returned to amateurs competing with amateurs.

  7. Jay says:

    It would be comforting to see a member of the E-3 Mafia win Gold.

    Added bonus points on the 100M Broom Sweep if you paint the rocks before hand….because everyone knows a General LOVES painted rocks.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      As well as perfectly placed sand bags for decoration, anyone remember the bases of trees painted white?

  8. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    This made me smile…thank you.

    That said, I am not certain viewership is down due to the “woke” aspect of the Olympics or simply due to the reality that NBC has created a cluster fuck of options and it’s an Asian Olympics which usually gets low ratings in Europe and the US due to the time zone…

    Viewership is up in Asia and Australia, largely because these Olympics are in their relative time zones…

    The 2024 Olympics in Paris will be a better test of the trend.

    I do believe as people have more options in viewing these days that sports in general have seen a decline in viewers. That’s true in pro sports of late as declining viewership for regular seasons games indicates.

    Also less people play sports in the US. As we have made more and more youth sports a “pay to play” model it’s decreased the number of kids who can play simply due to economics.

    I’ve seen this first hand with soccer, at one time the participation was over 3 million kids nationwide. As pay to play has slowly taken over kids whose parents have a combined income less than 100k have been dropping out…now the numbers of kids enrolled nationwide is about 2.3 million.

    There is an interesting dichotomy happening here in the US with regard to sport. In affluent families youth sports are on the rise while in medium to lower income families it’s on the decline. Correlation is not necessarily causation, but it is interesting to note that as it gets costlier to play every sport in America the only kids left to play are those from families that can afford the price of entry.

    • MI Ranger says:

      VOV,
      Agree with some of what you are saying, but the causation effect does not seem to correlate with what you are saying:

      Viewership as a whole in sports is declining, and it has much to do with the fact that it is no longer an escape from Politics!

      Yes, agree the time shift is definitely an issue with viewership on the Olympics, and the French Olympics will be the confirmation. However, woke activism is adding to the decline and the Olympic Officials decisions to support instead of limit this phenomena is making it worse.

      Agree that the Pay to Play sports model is also causing children to drop out of sports. And I was seeing some of this in the youth soccer that my children participate in. A friend of mine is paying those ridiculous sums to have his kids play in ENSL leagues. Some of his kids did not get selected to play in the top tier teams, and he finally woke to the fact that he was paying for his kids to support those teams while not getting similar benefit in the third tier. He took those kids to a separate club that would cost less than half the price and get three times the training (more practices with good coaches). I finally took my kids to a soccer camp this summer and I spoke with some of the parents from the local club…which turns out to be the Parks & Recreation league. They partnered with Coerver to provide coaching with their coaches once a week, and the others (practices) are with their game coach. My county does not do this, but we pay the same price (~$65) to play about six weeks. My County two years ago (we did not play last year due to COVID) was so short of coaches, that I put in paperwork after the second practice when the 19year old kid they called coach really had no clue what he was doing…but we were that short of coaches. I had been reluctant because I work in a different town and usually finish around 1700 when they practice at 1730. I had to change my work schedule. I wasn’t going to let my child have a bad first experience! I guess I have to get involved if I want a good experience (no free ride).

      We need to get communities to focus on pick up leagues and clinics to get the poorest among us the opportunity. The best players usually come from the family that does not have much, but the kid focuses on the things they can do…which is sports (it is their escape). If Ms. RapinWhore wants to get paid more she needs to participate in the solution, which is more viewership of women’s soccer! Not just complain…because we all know what complaining without offering a solution is!!!

      An interesting quote from University students, about watching the Olympics and rooting for Team USA, says it all. This was not at a Liberal woke University on the left coast either: “I’m not going to be rooting for any team just because it’s some country that I live in,” another said. “Patriotism shouldn’t be that strong.”

      I blame it all on China’s infiltration of our education system and the systematic destruction of the Western way of life.

      • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

        Well said, and it is interesting to note the change in participation.

        I appreciate your commitment to volunteer…

        I volunteered my time for 3 decades, I am a nationally licensed USSF and NSCAA soccer coach and FIFA referee.

        I was offered money to coach premier teams, but never wanted coaching to be a job. I prefer it to be donation of my time and knowledge and that way I’m not beholden to the profit center of the club but I’m instead beholden to my obligation to make sure those young athletes are prepared to face both the world, and the next phase of their athletic career whatever that means to them.

        What I meant by my correlation does not equal causation comment was that an observation of affluent families participation being on the rise while poorer families participate less isn’t the only factor in why kids participate less these days but it could well be a contributing factor.

        Here in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts some idiots are paying almost 3,000 a year to play soccer…because their kid is on a “premier” team. They end up experiencing similar outcomes to your friend who discovered his kid on the third tier was nothing more than a revenue stream. Here in the Baystate some clubs have teams from Tier 1 Division 1 style competition all the way down to soccer so terrible it’s really on a developmental level…so effectively they 4 or 5 divisions and the bottom 3 divisions are all filled with kids who should never have made a soccer team.

        • MI Ranger says:

          VOV,
          Ok, definitely agree with what you are saying. I wish I had the time to get certified like you. I actually had not played since I broke my ankle in college the day before the final try-out in 1988. Due to some nagging injuries (from the military) I have some issue standing for hours and coaching was not pleasant for me (also I would lose my voice after each game).

          In South Carolina we seem to be all over the map when it comes to programs. Obviously in the Charlotte (NC) and Charleston (SC) they have great programs. Columbia actually has some good programs too, partnered with the YMCAs. I was impressed with what the other counties are doing with their Rec leagues but in counties like mine that don’t really have a big or medium size (200K+) town it is pretty pathetic.

          I plan to try and get our Parks & Recreation up to par at least with what I saw in the other county. My only issue is whether my ambition and vision will match reality and I can at least see some improvement. My daughters are still very young, and I am not going to commit them if they don’t like it but I see a lot of potential, and I want to give them the chance.

  9. Anonymous says:

    They forgot PowerPoint and making a TDY trip with DTS online.

  10. KoB says:

    What?!? No Synchronized Floor Buffing Event? Oh, my bad you’re looking for individual me, me, me, look at ME skilz. Guess Best Blanket Party Event is out too? God forbid we have events that might build up the concept of winning as a Team.

  11. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    A Buffer Rodeo would be a necessary event with the longest time on as well as riding style!

    • Green Thumb says:

      Two Hole Vault.

      You get a running start and plant your pole in someones two hole and then use the momentum to vault over them (and their career) to now heights and rank.

  12. Great idea and true. I used to skate in the chilled water space on a mattress on top of one of the chiller tanks reading Playboy magazines unseen from the entrance door. When I was in the NAT Guard, (1975-1977) during our two week stay up at Fort Drum, the M-60 gunner had ammo belts in a suitcase he brought up and some of the Officers were known to be taking pop up flares home. A weekend at Fort Dix, one of the guys was taking 5.56 rounds for his AR-15 while loading mags in the ammo shack. Great idea for the olympics

  13. Green Thumb says:

    And when you finish the events, you have to take a drug test.

    • Mason says:

      Safety brief before the event. Reminder from the 1SG to not do anything stupid. Someone still pisses hot for weed 20 minutes later.

  14. ChipNASA says:

    Let’s not forget the hurry up and wait.
    Contestants need to show up at 0300 for assembly, pre brief at 0500, the brief brief at 0700, First Sergeant’s remarks at 0900, Commander’s remarks at 1000 and then the pre-activity safety briefing and concept discussion at 1100 and then it’s time for lunch, everyone break out the MREs.
    Only 2 items will be available, the 2005 Cheese and Veggie Omelet MRE and then the Menu 10 – Chili and Macaroni (2011) with a smattering of various ancillary, secondary accessory packets, sides and dessert items scattered around to rat fuck, as is the norm.
    The winners will be “sprouted”/released at 1600 and the losers will remain to at least 1900, where they will at some point be bless with the extra bonus of having to clean weapons to Armorers specifications, no bribes and no making 2 Pri’s clean for the unit of losers. Only a couple bottles of almost empty CLP, a bunch of worn out tooth, brass and other brushes will be available as well as ill fitting, bent rods and some rusted steel wool.

    Anyone have nightmares yet?? Anyone want to Simone Biles? Yeah, well too fucking bad. No bailing.

    Have a nice event. Good Luck to you all.

    Oh and as a side event, the real losers will have to come in in their dress leotard on Saturday morning at 0700 for room inspection.

    Happy Friday.

    • Eric (The OC Tanker) says:

      Make that the first gen MRE ‘Chicken Elvis’ (because Elvis is the KING) and or the dehydrated pork patty. No Tabasco allowed.

      Follow up with T-rat chili and parboiled rice.

      May GOD have mercy upon your soul and digestive system!

      • Anonymous says:

        The new Pizza MRE (they finally got it out) fits that requirement.

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          And how many millions of our tax dollars were burned coming up with the Pizza MRE? I’m sure that a number of Contractors were laughing and fucking their Secretaries all the way to the bank on that!

  15. Roh-Dog says:

    The participants of the 21st Century Warrior pentathlon need to spend the whole night before the opening ceremony drinking cheap domestic light beer at the taste-appropriate gentlemens’/ladies’ club, while every other Olympian group may walk into the stadium the pentathloners need to run around in large circles, starting and stopping aggressively, chasing some guy with a flag, singing/mumbling something about a ‘C-130 rolling down a strip’. The only way the pentathlalletes know this uncomfortable show is over is when they run past a PA system blasting AC/DC’s Thunderstruck.
    Then they form up in the direct sun and get berated for poor performance during the show.
    Then they will have exactly 30 minutes to shower, eat and change into their national team suit which all the booze sweat will soak thru before they get their boots on.

    • Eric (The OC tanker) says:

      For those souls who spent time stationed at the Home Of Armor (Ft Knox), I will inflict upon you the “Rock Burger” from the Rock Inn (just down the road from training area 5 north) to be washed down with a pitcher of Stroh’s Beer. Followed by a 0500 unit 3 mile PT run. The burger eater/s must be in the front of the formation. The contestant/s are in the middle or back of the formation. (event to be performed in July-September time frame. Simulated weather conditions are allowed.)

      Not that has ever happened to me.
      If you believe that I have some ocean front property in AZ I can let you have at a good price.

  16. Green Thumb says:

    We could even have a spin on the Paralympics. Call them the Profilympics. (And for the record, I am not making fun of the Paralympics. They are tremendous group of men and women who have overcame numerous challenges to compete on the world stage).

    Make sure they are hip to boot, like the X Games.

    Take the profile Soldiers who limp around the barracks everyday making sure people see them wince with every step and make them compete.

    Dancing – you know, the profile Solider who waits until Friday at 2000, looks both ways, and tosses his crutches into the closet and then beats feet down the back steps and hauls ass to beat cover charge at the local club where he shakes his ass until close then sneaks back in to the barracks before formation. Once back, picks up the crutches and sleeps it off while shaming the entire next day (repeat as needed).

    Mopping – the profile Solider who can only wear a helmet and mop. Make it like curling, but with a twist.

    Polishing – I mean how many shoes can you polish in a day while siting on your can avoiding PT or any field work?

    These are just a few suggestions. The sky is the limit.