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Olympic Modern Pentathlon 2024: Where to Watch, Full Schedule

First-time Olympian Jessica Davis will be the only American competing in the time-honored event comprising five sports.

By Jax Miller
Kelly Clarkson, Peyton Manning & Mike Tirico Preview Paris Olympics Opening Ceremony

An innovation of the ancient Games of Greece, the modern pentathlon remains one of the most time-honored events going into the 2024 Summer Games.

Only one athlete will represent the U.S. in Paris, testing her abilities across five disciplines that, in ancient times, demonstrated the skills of a soldier. Today, competitors must participate in fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, running, and shooting.

The modern pentathlon has seen several changes since debuting in the Olympics during the 1912 Stockholm Games, and the 2024 Games will feature another significant change: New format rules mean athletes will only have 90 minutes to complete the event, whereas they previously had one or multiple days. 

RELATED: Where To Watch 2024 Paris Olympics: Complete Schedule

Key athletes to watch

Connecticut’s Jessica Davis, 32, is the only American athlete competing in this year's modern pentathlon. Her fourth-place finish at the 2023 Pan-American Games in Santiago qualified her for her Olympic debut, according to NBC Sports. Davis has competed in the World Championships since 2016, per her Team USA profile, and some of her accolades include her winning firsts in the 2023 U.S. Nationals and in the women’s relay during the 2019 Pan-Ams, as listed in USA Pentathlon.

Jessica Davis of Team United States competes on Laser Run as part of Women's Modern Pentathlon

A medal in Paris would mark the first time a U.S. woman takes home a medal since Emily deRiel’s silver in Sydney in 2000 during the inaugural women’s Olympic event. As for the men, no athlete has placed since the 1984 Games in Los Angeles when the men won as a team (though team medals were discontinued in 1992).

Born to an equestrian mother and Ironman Kona-winning triathlete father, Davis focused on horse-centric events as a child, such as dressage, cross-country, and show jumping, according to her October 2023 interview with Team USA. She found a love of track and field in high school and college before discovering “the crazy sport” of pentathlon, much thanks to meeting 1996 Olympic fencer Suzie Paxton at a house party.

“She got me involved very quickly with the New York Athletic Club (to learn to fence), and I just kind of ran with it,” said Davis.

Paris 2024 Olympics Jessica Davis of Team United States (R) competes against Isabela Abreu of Team Brazil (L) on Fencing as part of Women's Modern Pentathlon

As for the 2024 Olympics, Davis said she and her team were “superstitious and humble.”

“We never want to say anything. But I do trust my training and my coaches, and my body,” she said. “I’m feeling confident, happy, and excited about it.”

Great Britain’s Kate French, gold medal winner for the 2020 Tokyo Games, will defend her title in the Olympic Games in Paris.

Learn more about the athletes headed to Paris on NBC's Olympics website.

How to watch

Every day during the Summer Olympics, NBC will offer fans at least nine hours of daytime coverage of the Games’ most exciting events, including live finals coverage of swimming, gymnastics, track and field, and more. Considering the time difference (Paris is six hours ahead of the U.S.’s eastern time zone), fans will be able to watch the day’s most popular events live on NBC in the morning and afternoon. NBC will also deliver an enhanced Olympics primetime show each night, providing three hours of must-see entertainment.

In addition, every event from the Summer Olympics will be broadcast live on Peacock, which will be home to an innovative Olympics hub that will include "curated rails of live and upcoming events, dedicated in-depth hubs for nearly 40 sports, medal standings and an interactive schedule."

Complete schedule for modern pentathlon events

Thursday, August 8
5:00 a.m. ET: Men's & Women's Fencing Ranking Rounds

Friday, August 9
7:00 a.m. ET: Men’s Semifinal A
11:00 a.m. ET: Men’s Semifinal B

Saturday, August 10
3:30 a.m. ET: Women’s Semifinal A
7:30 a.m. ET: Women’s Semifinal B
11:30 a.m. ET: Men’s Final

Sunday, August 11
5:00 a.m. ET: Women’s Final

Don't Miss

Watch live coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 26, on NBC and Peacock beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Telemundo will provide Spanish-language coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Primetime coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and Peacock.

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