Modern pentathlon was a new sport at the 1912 Olympics, but it has been contested at every Olympics since. It was the brainchild of the founder of the Modern Olympic Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The sport consists of riding on horseback, fencing, shooting, swimming, and cross-country running, although eventually shooting and cross-country running would be combined into one competition, similar to biathlon. The 1912 modern pentathlon was held at five different sites, with each discipline using the venue for its separate sport.
One interesting point about the 1912 modern pentathlon is that a woman entered, Miss Helen Preece, a 15-year-old British equestrienne. More details on her attempted participation are given in the event description, although she did not compete. The Swedes dominated the event, taking the first 4, 6 of the top 7, and 7 of the top 9 places. The first non-Swedish finisher was American George Patton, in fifth, who later became a famous American general in World War II.