By Matt Wright
Colin Lee, a 19 year old resident of Lakeland, recently qualified for the UIPM World Championship Pentathlon in Lignano, Italy. Colin qualified for the world championships after bringing home a silver medal in the under nineteen age division at the USA Nationals. The national competition was held in Colorado Springs, CO this August. The world championship event will consist of fencing, freestyle swimming, equestrian show jumping, pistol shooting, and cross country running. It will be held from September 4th through the 11th in the Italian city located on the Adriatic Sea. The modern pentathlon is inspired by the traditional pentathlon held during the ancient Olympics.
According to Colin’s Father, Patrick Lee, this was a new event for the recent St. Benedict at Auburndale High School graduate. “He just picked up the sport this past March and started training,” Mr. Lee said. When asked what made Colin interested in the event he said the USA Pentathlon Committee likes to recruit swimmers to train for the event. Mr. Lee said the committee feels like they can teach the other disciples of the event easier to athletes that are already good swimmers.
Colin, who’s also a former Lakeland Elementary School student, has always been a competitive swimmer. He recently committed to swim at the collegiate level for the University of Southern Indiana. But according to Mr. Lee, the other disciplines in the pentathlon were still a challenge for the young athlete to pick up. “We went out to Colorado Springs in March to start training and that was the first time Colin has ever fenced in his life,” he said. “It was a challenge for sure, but we’re excited about going to Italy. It should be a great experience for Colin and we are proud of him.”
To learn more about the UIPM organization and the modern pentathlon you can go to: https://www.uipmworld.org/home