The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has informed the International Olympic Committee that the stadium used for the 2010 World Championships in Chengdu, China, from September 1-7 will be honoured with the name of the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin. A bust of Coubertin has been placed at the entrance to the modern pentathlon stadium.
The impressive facilities are largely thanks to UIPM President Dr h. c. Klaus Schormann's passion in the project, and he explains that it all came about after a visit to the area following the catastrophic Wenchuan earthquake that hit the area surrounding Chengdu in May 2008.
"I wanted to see what could be done in the future for this area and I knew that sport is the best catalyst. I gave some ideas and I saw some of the beautiful facilities that were already in existence here."
The stadium is the only one of its kind in the world, with facilities to hold all five modern pentathlon events in one place. Constructed in only one year, Schormann was left in awe of the amazing construction feat of China.
"I couldn't believe it was possible in only one year. There was a team of 3,000 workers working on two sessions day and night. The stadium will be a legacy that stands for years and years to come. These facilities are even better than those at Olympic Games and better than could have been expected."
Future plans to expand the stadium in Chengdu include a hotel, shopping area and even a small museum set to be housed in the media centre.
The Pierre de Coubertin Modern Pentathlon Centre will be used for World Cup competitions every year up until 2014 and Schormann has further hopes of a new blue running track to allow the stadium to reach its full potential.
Over 30 countries competed in the 50th World Championships in Chengdu, leading the president to state: “We have a new destination for high level competition. I'm sure athletes will want to come here again and again. China know that they have delivered something to the Olympic movement and I wish many generations will compete here in the future.