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Patton Granddaughter to Speak at Pentathlon World Cup Opening Ceremony in Palm Springs

Published On: Feb 18 2013 07:12:54 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 18 2013 12:10:56 PM CST

The opening ceremony for the USA Pentathlon World  Cup No. 1 will be held Tuesday at Palm Springs Stadium, with Helen Patton, a  granddaughter of World War II U.S. Army Gen. George S. Patton, serving as the  keynote speaker. The elder Patton finished fifth in the modern pentathlon in  the 1912 Summer Olympics.
      Proceeds from the ticket sales for the opening ceremony will benefit the  General Patton Memorial Museum in Chiriaco Summit.
      The opening ceremony will begin at 4 p.m., two hours after the start of  the jury ride, where the pentathletes are introduced to the competition's  horses.
      Competition will begin Wednesday with the men's qualifier. The women's  qualifier will be held Thursday. The men's final will be held Friday, the  women's final Saturday and the mixed relay Sunday.
      A modern pentathlon consists of five events -- fencing, swimming,  riding, cross-country running and shooting. The running event consists of four  laps around an 800-meter course. Before each lap, the competitors must fire  five shots from a laser pistol at a target 10 meters away. They may resume  running once they have hit the target five times or the maximum shooting time  of 50 seconds has expired.
      Point totals are assigned to performances for each event. The start of  the combined running and shooting event is based on the scores entering the  event, with the leader starting first. The rest of the field starts one second  behind the leader for every four points he or she trails the leader, assuring  that the winner of the combined event is the winner of the pentathlon.
      The qualifiers do not include riding. The entire competition will be  held at Sunrise Park, with the riding and combined running and shooting event  in Palm Springs Stadium.
      David Svoboda of the Czech Republic, the men's modern pentathlon gold  medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, leads the field of 140 pentathletes from  28 nations, that also includes the world's two top-ranked male pentathletes,  Russians Aleksander Lesun and Ilya Frolov.
      The top Americans include Margaux Isaksen, the fourth-place finisher in  the women's modern pentathlon at the 2012 London Olympics and the women's world  junior champion, and her sister Isabella.
      A Pentathlon World Cup event was first held in the Coachella Valley in  2011. The U.S. stop of the World Cup circuit in 2012 was held in Charlotte, but  was returned to the Coachella Valley in 2013 because UPIM, the sport's  worldwide governing body, prefers its competitions to be held at one site,  according to Janet Newcomb, media director for the USA Pentathlon World Cup #1.
      A Pentathlon World Cup event will be held in Palm Springs each year  through 2016, Newcomb said.
      The USA Pentathlon World Cup #1 is the first of five events on the World  Cup circuit, which also consists of competitions in Rio de Janeiro, Chengdu,  China and Budapest, Hungary and the final in Nizhny-Novgorod, Russia.
      The modern pentathlon was invented in 1909 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin,  the founder of the modern Olympic Games, as a test of the skills required by  19th century cavalry soldiers, and first held in the Olympics in 1912.
      Ticket prices are $15 for the opening ceremony, $8 for the qualifiers  and $10 for the finals and mixed relay. Children under 12 will be admitted  free. More information is available on the event's website,
      Competition will begin at 8 a.m. each day with fencing, followed by  swimming at noon. The running-shooting event will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday and  Thursday. Friday through Sunday the riding event will begin at 2 p.m. and the  running-shooting event at 5 p.m.