Local marketing company at the forefront of modern Olympic sports

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Obstacle courses selected to be tested as a discipline for LA 2028

Rock Harbor Marketing (RHM), a Morro Bay, Calif.-based digital marketing company that recently added Global Barrier to its growing list of internationally recognized clients, is working with the brand to launch their new global image as they work towards Olympic recognition.

World Obstacle, also known as the Fédération Internationale de Sports d’Obstacles (FISO), is the sole international governing body for the sports of obstacle courses, ninja competitions and adventure races. The association is made up of national member federations in more than 100 countries, promoting obstacle sports around the world.

The working group of the new 5th discipline of modern pentathlon, strictly following the 13 criteria established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), selected obstacle sports as one of two finalists from a list of 62 entries. This was guided by the IOC requirements for the sports program for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028, introducing a new discipline to modern pentathlon that features substantial reductions in cost and complexity and improves safety, accessibility, universality and appeal to young people.

The introduction of a new discipline to modern pentathlon after Paris 2024 presents many opportunities for obstacle sports athletes, including those who practice ninja and obstacle course racing. Both 100m (Ninja) and Arena (OCR) hurdle formats will be evaluated to become a permanent feature of the sport in the Olympic program.

The first test of the Arena format will take place after the 2022 Pentathlon World Cup Final in Ankara, Turkey at the end of June, giving the world’s best pentathletes a chance to compete with obstacle athletes for the first time. The first test of the 100m format will take place in the following months with a location to be announced before the end of May.

FISO President Ian Adamson said: “We are delighted to be working with the UIPM on the new 5th discipline. Obstacles have a long history in the pentathlon, including the modern and ancient Olympic Games, and the introduction of obstacle disciplines which are watched and practiced by hundreds of millions of people in over 140 countries provides many opportunities for athletes, spectators and the global sporting public.

World Obstacle will be seeking feedback from obstacle athletes and stakeholders to ensure the format meets the expectations of obstacle sports communities around the world.

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