Club Marconi last week hosted a celebratory event for an extraordinary family of Olympians – the Esposito’s. Headliner was of course, modern pentathlon gold medalist Chloe Esposito. She was joined by her younger brother and fellow pentathlete Max, and father and coach Daniel, a competitor in the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
To highlight just how extraordinary Chloe’s win was, it was the first ever medal of any colour for an Australian in the Modern Pentathlon and it was the first time that a non-European has won Olympic gold in the 104-year history of the event. Max, at 19 was the youngest competitor and missed a medal by just 6 seconds, coming in seventh in the men’s competition. Chloe and Max were also the only amateur athletes in a field of professionals.
It’s been a long journey from Casula in Sydney’s West to a gold medal in Rio and it’s been a story of family and sacrifice. Ten hour plus days, six days a week of training in the five disciplines associated with the sport – fencing, swimming, riding, shooting and running. To gain the necessary standard of competition, the trio has also been living and training in Budapest for the past two years, leaving mum Suzanne, sister Emily and Chloe’s fiancé Matt, behind. But the family sacrifice paid off and their motto of being one team and sticking together, could not be more evident.
Chloe acknowledge the huge part Club Marconi and the local community played in helping her get to the Olympics, especially the Marconi Fencing Academy. Daniel coached at the Academy for four to five years and Chloe and Max trained there from their early teens, and still do when they are back home in Australia.
In recognition of that support Chloe presented the epee (sword) she used at the Olympics, complete with Olympic stamps, to Club Marconi President Vince Foti, who said it would be placed on display for all members to enjoy.
In turn, Mr Foti announced the Club would set up an annual $2,500 Chloe Esposito Sporting Scholarship, with Chloe herself as part of the selection committee. It is Chloe’s dream to inspire kids and she would love to develop a school’s sports project around a least three of the pentathlon disciplines to get youngsters involved in the sport. The Club Marconi scholarship could be the first step towards that dream.
Expect to hear a lot more about Chloe and Max Esposito in the coming years as both have their sites set squarely on Tokyo and more medals in 2020.