Your Community

Should pole dancing be recognized as an Olympic sport?

Categories: Community, Sports, World

 Clothed pole dancing is nudging its way into the mainstream fitness market with increasing numbers of gyms and dance schools offering classes. (STR/AFP/GettyImages) The International Pole Sport Federation is pushing hard for a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games, and with thousands of highly trained dancers already competing around the world there's a very real chance that they could get one.

There is one major hurdle, however: the International Olympic Committee must first recognize Pole Dancing as an official sport, despite its racy reputation.

"These women are incredible athletes. They have such grace and elegance and they absolutely belong in the Olympics," said Timothy Trautman, president of the International Pole Sport Federation to Buzzfeed. "But we do fight the stereotype that it's for strippers."

That stereotype is as outdated as it is damaging, according to those who practice the sport.

"You're lifting your own body weight, you're controlling all of your own muscles, and your body, to do those moves and the transitions smoothly, and safely," said pole fitness instructor Samantha Huffman to KHOU in Houston, Texas when speaking about the issue.

"There's a level of dedication and training you have to put into it to get anywhere. It's a type of gymnastics, but it's a vertical apparatus."

It should also be noted that pole dancers don't take off their clothes.

Trautman told Buzzfeed that interest in the Pole sport has doubled in the past six years, attracting more athletically-inclined participants as the discipline moves away from the nightclub and into the fitness club.

In an effort to further disband Pole Dancing's reputation, the IPSF recently hosted the World Pole Sport Championship in London where both men and women competed for medals in both the singles and doubles pole dancing categories.

More than 60 athletes from 25 countries gathered to compete. It was the organizer's hope that Olympic officials would take notice.

"We want to show them that we want to be part of it," Trautman said. "It was a strategic decision to be there at the same time."

A separate 2010 petition aimed at getting Pole Dancing into the 2012 Olympics managed to gain more than 6,000 signatures, but that wasn't enough to seal the deal.

Trautman's team is hopeful that a future petition will attract enough signatures to sway the Olympic committee in time for the 2016 Games.

What's your take? Should Pole Dancing be considered an Olympic Sport, or is it still too risqué for a family-friendly event?

Tags: POV

Comments are closed.