Should Pole Dancing Be An Olympic Sport?

The International Pole Sports Foundation thinks the Olympics needs a little spicing up.

  • Share
  • Read Later
STR/AFP/GettyImages
STR/AFP/GettyImages

This picture taken on July 2, 2012 shows pole dancing teacher Wang Jing performing at a nightclub in southwest China's Chongqing municipality. Pole dancing (with clothes kept on) is nudging its way into the mainstream Chinese exercise market with increasing numbers of gyms and dance schools offering classes.

When Jeannine Wikering came in third in the European pole-dancing championships back in 2008 she said, “I think one day it should be an Olympic sport — but that will take time.” Four years on, and if the International Pole Sports Federation gets their way, that time may be now.

While pole dancing may have originally been inspired by the routines performed by dancers in strip clubs, today’s practitioners are adamant that it is truly a sport. “These women are incredible athletes. They have such grace and elegance and they absolutely belong in the Olympics. But we do fight the stereotype that it’s for strippers,” IPSF founder and president Timothy Trautman told Buzzfeed. Watch a few routines on YouTube and you may agree that pole dancing requires above average athletic prowess.

(MORE: Canada Stripping Visas for Foreign Strippers)

As the ostensible sport attempts to shake its shady reputation, the International Pole Sports Federation has started making tentative steps in the process of becoming officially recognized by the Olympic Committee in the hopes of being included in future Games. According to the Official website of the Olympic Movement, “To make it onto the Olympic program, a sport first has to be recognized: it must be administered by an International Federation which ensures that the sport’s activities follow the Olympic Charter. If it is widely practiced around the world and meets a number of criteria established by the IOC session, a recognized sport may be added to the Olympic program on the recommendation of the IOC’s Olympic Program Commission.” Once the baseline requirements are established, the sport can eventually draft an official petition for consideration by the International Olympic Committee.

The IPSF is just at the beginning of their journey towards establishment, but they are making progress. According to Buzzfeed, IPSF has already written bylaws and and an official rule book for pole dancers. They’ve also organized the first World Pole Sport Championship, an event the organization has cannily scheduled to take place in London just days before the Olympics kick off.

The road to Olympic recognition is a long one, however. Therefore if you are interested in the sport, but have no experience in pole dancing, there’s still time to train for your Olympic dream. The IPSF doesn’t expect to get Olympic consideration until 2020.

MORE: Why Women Watch the Olympics (But Tune Out Other Sports)

MORE: Double Amputee Pistorius Set to Run in Olympics

10 comments
PoleDanceDiva
PoleDanceDiva

Even the storgest man or women need skills to master pole dancing people shouldn't judge they don't no what they talking bout it rude!!!!!!!!

TeresaC001
TeresaC001

@RobSeaTac @sarcasmsbitch why am I not surprised....you men....LOL

Namec Nassianer
Namec Nassianer

It is my considered opinion that if Poles get their own Olympic dancing competition, then Americans, Russians, Germans, French, etc. should also get their own Olympic dancing competition. 

And I have nothing against Poles; they are great people, but fair is fair imo.

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar

sure, why not .... indeed men go to see pole dancing for the athletic performance of the athlete.. never mind that they are all sexually frustrated men who go to see what they will never have and that the athlete is usually an adult movie actress .... 

 

Starshiprarity
Starshiprarity

Lets please separate your stereotypical sad stripper poledancing and real poledancing.

I've seen mean that have a lot of gymnastic ability holding themselves out like flags. That takes talent and strength- this should be an subset to gymnastics right next to the double bar.

f_galton
f_galton

The Striptathalon could include pole dancing and couch dancing, winners determined by the most tips.

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

I dated a few "athletes" in my time. :) Seems rather silly to even suggest that pole dancing be an Olympic sport. What's next, thumb wrestling? Hot dog eating? Fist pumping? Lol

Zlatko Šarić
Zlatko Šarić

What is wrong with you people? Any woman that does pole dancing has so much strength that she could kick all of your ignorant asses. Have you even seen any routines? If rhythmic gymnastic and badminton can be Olympic sports why couldn't this? It requires more strength and stamina that these two. One thing they should change though is how they dress. I think that's what mistakes them for strippers...

MaddyGrace
MaddyGrace

@Zlatko Šarić As a pole dancer, the way we dress is more out of necessity than a wanting to flaunt our sexuality. You need to have skin exposed in order to grip the pole. Doing tricks in anything more than leotards, or work out shorts and sports bras, is extremely difficult, if not impossible. As far as shoes go, some dancers choose to wear 7 inch heels yes, but if you look at the national competitions in pole the dancers are barefoot.