No other events in this sport
Not held in other editions
| Event type

Winter Pentathlon, Men

Date31 January – 4 February 1948
StatusOlympic (non-medal)
LocationPalace-Hotel, St. Moritz / Skistadion, St. Moritz / Französische Kirche, St. Moritz / Salastrains, St. Moritz / Kurhaus, St. Moritz-Bad
Participants14 from 5 countries

In an effort to develop a multi-sport competition for the Winter Olympics, somewhat like the modern pentathlon, a winter pentathlon was contested at St. Moritz in 1948. But it barely merits the name “winter,” as only two of its events, a 10 km cross-country ski race and a downhill ski race, were typical winter sports. The other three events were fencing, shooting, and horse jumping, as in the modern pentathlon. The event was decided on a point-for-place format.

The event was dominated by the Swedish athletes, who also dominated modern pentathlon in this era. Swedish skiiers took the first four places in the cross-country run, led by Bertil Haase. The shooting was then won by Gustaf Lindh, who took the lead after two events. Lindh was somewhat unusual as he was the only member of the Swedish team that never competed in another Olympic sport. Haase returned to the lead after winning the downhill skiing, with Lindh in second, and Swedish athletes in the first four places. Vincenzo Somazzi and Hans Rumpf of Switzerland then tied for first in the fencing, with seven wins but it did little to break the Swedish monopoly on the lead. In fact, going into the horse jumping final event, Lindh, Haase, and Wille Grut were tied for first with 13 points. Grut and Lindh both had perfect marks in jumping, but Lindh’s time, which was 21 seconds faster than Grut, gave him the title.

Six of the 14 competitors in the winter pentathlon competed at some time in another Olympic sport. The runner-up, Wille Grut, came back later in 1948 to win the modern pentathlon at London, and Bertil Haase also competed in the 1948 modern pentathlon, as did the Finn, Viktor Platan. The fourth Swedish pentathlete, Claes Egnell, who withdrew after the downhill, competed at London in rapid-fire pistol shooting and came back in 1952 to help Sweden win a team silver medal in modern pentathlon. British competitor Percy Legard had already competed three times at the Olympics – in 1932 and 1936 in modern pentathlon, and at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936 in Nordic combined. His teammate, Derek Allhusen, who was already 34-years-old in 1948, would compete again at the Olympics in 1968 in equestrian, winning a silver medal in the individual three-day event, and leading Britain to a team gold medal.

Winter pentathlon has never again been contested at the Olympics, nor at any major international competition.

PosCompetitorNOCPointsCross-Country SkiingShootingDownhill SkiingFencingRiding
1Gustaf LindhSWE1444:18 (2)20 (1)2:52.2 (6)5 (=4)100.0 (1)
2Wille GrutSWE1548:06 (3)20 (3)2:47.6 (4)6 (3)100.0 (2)
3Bertil HaaseSWE1744:15 (1)20 (5)2:37.4 (1)4 (=6)92.0 (4)
4Vincenzo SomazziSUI2555:58 (8)19 (9)2:39.4 (2)7 (=1)90.5 (5)
5Hans RumpfSUI2656:01 (9)20 (4)2:43.4 (3)7 (=1)43.0 (9)
6Derek AllhusenGBR441-11:33 (11)20 (8)3:43.4 (11)0 (11)98.5 (3)
7Peter GrießlerAUT4550:38 (5)18 (12)2:54.0 (7)1 (10)– (DNF)
8Hans SchriberSUI4557:14 (10)19 (10)3:13.0 (10)5 (=4)– (DNF)
9John WalkerGBR471-12:46 (12)18 (13)3:07.6 (9)4 (=6)72.5 (7)
10Percy LegardGBR48– (DNF)18 (11)3:01.0 (8)2 (9)85.5 (6)
11Maurice WilloughbyGBR541-17:01 (13)16 (14)5:15.8 (13)4 (=6)66.5 (8)
DNFClaes EgnellSWE49:37 (4)20 (2)2:50.6 (5)
DNFViktor PlatanFIN53:34 (6)20 (7)4:13.4 (12)
DNFJosef VollmeierSUI55:38 (7)20 (6)– (DNF)