Jim Fox dead at 81: Tributes paid to British modern pentathlon Olympic champion

JIM FOX, the former modern pentathlon Olympic champion, has died at the age of 81.

The Brit won team gold at the 1976 Games in Montreal, Canada, alongside compatriots Danny Nightingale and Adrian Parker.

Ex-army sergeant Jim Fox won gold in Montreal and caught out a cheating rivalCredit: Getty

The Wiltshire-star famously exposed the cheating of Soviet Union Red Army soldier Boris Onishchenko, who was disqualified after it was discovered a switch had been hidden in his fencing sword to register false hits.

While they duelled, a light came on early to indicate a hit for Onishchenko.

Fox later told the BBC: “All I could think about was that Onishchenko had a weapon that was not properly working.

“And then over a period of minutes, because he was going to put it back in his bag and because of the way he he wanted to put it back in his bag, I felt there was something dramatically wrong.”


Onishchenko’s cheating was soon exposed.

Montreal 1976 official Carl Schwende revealed at the time: “The weapon had definitely been tampered with.

“Someone had wired it in such a way that it would score a winning hit without making contact.”

Fox was an army sergeant in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and represented Team GB at four successive Games.

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He finished fourth in the individual event in Munich in 1972, having been dissuaded from retiring by coach Ron Bright after the 1968 Mexico City Games.

When he did officially hang up his sports equipment, he served as chairman of Pentathlon GB.

The governing body said: “All at Pentathlon GB send their condolences to Jim Fox’s family and remain grateful for everything he has done for our sport.”

British Army Sport stated: “Very sad news indeed and our sincere condolences to his family and friends. An outstanding athlete and supporter of Modern Pentathlon in the British Army and for his country.

“RIP Jim and thank you for your service.”

And sports fans on social media added their tributes.

One posted: “So sad. A very charming man and great sportsman.”

Source: Athletics -


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