John Holland, Jr. was born at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, to Beatrice and John Holland. Bea loved horses and John, Sr. was a Lieutenant in the Army. John’s mother taught him to love horses and his father oriented him to military discipline.
In his youth, John enjoyed running and swimming. When he was 11 years old, his father was killed in WWII; his mother was always positive and taught her three children to cope with the situation. John entered the New York Military Academy and added shooting to his skills.
He enlisted in the Army and was a member of the 11th Airborne Division Pathfinders. Besides jumping out of airplanes, he was required to hone his skills in running, swimming and pistol shooting; this was called the Military Triathlon. One day the division asked John if he would like to train to be a member of the Modern Pentathlon Team in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games…he said yes!
Riding was the 5th event in the USA Olympic Trials and John drew Little Girl, a small but bold mare. He had a clean ride over the 5 km / 30 obstacle course. When he finished, there were only three rides left; he was now in 4th place (on the team). The only remaining pentathlete he had to worry about was Jack Daniels, who drew the best horse in the lot. As Jack left the starting line, John remembered his mother’s rule; he sat under a tree and sang 5 minutes of Waltzing Matilda. As Jack approached the finish line, he had a big smile on his face; he beat John by 31 MP points (Olympic Team = Bob Miller, Bill Andre, George Lambert & Jack Daniels). Due to an injury, Bob Miller could not compete and Jack won a Team Silver Medal along with Andre and Lambert…that’s called Modern Pentathlon.
John left MP in 1957 and became a Computer Engineer. In the 1970’s he worked for the Chrysler Corporation in Mexico City and was a part-time member of the Mexican MP Federation support staff; he worked with José Pérez Mier and David Romero Vargas – Mexican Olympians, friends and fellow Pentathletes from the 1950s.
In the 1980’s, John was invited to attend the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games and once again he became a member of the Modern Pentathlon Family. He was invited to join the USA MP Trust and assisted Guy Troy in the organization of the Pan American MP Confederation (PAMPC). In 1996 the PAMPC was split into two confederations NORCECA (North America, Central America and the Islands of the Caribbean) and the SAMPC (South America). John became NORCECA President.
For 16 years he was a leader, an accountant, a licensed International Judge, some-time Technical Director for both the Olympic and Pan American Games, and a good friend to many.
He thanks everyone for their support.