Should pole dancing become an Olympic sport?

The Olympics had a big impact on Britain last year, as London held the competitive games for two weeks. It includes all the traditional sporting events including athletics, swimming, tennis, rowing and so on. But what if pole dancing was introduced as part of the gymnastics sector in future Olympic games?

Pole fitness has become introduced as a gym class in the last three to five years, and it has become so popular that it has been rumoured the exercise will be part of a new element in the gymnastic Olympics. 

The International Pole Sport Federation has been trying hard to gain a chance to compete in one of the world’s most famous sporting event. However, they must overcome obstacles and convince the International Olympic Committee that it is a valuable sport despite its stigma. 

Although the aim for Pole fitness is to be recognised for the next Olympics in Rio 2016, the International Pole Sport Federation does not expect consideration until 2020.

Pole fitness is seen as combined skills of dance, gymnastics, acrobatics and strength. The stereotype of pole fitness being seductive pole dancing is one of the reasons the sport is being held back. Pole fitness first originated in the 12th Century, where men would climb trees and boat sailing poles as a competitive game. It then went on to be a part of the entertainment business, being used as acts in the circus and Indian fitness regimes.

Cath Barker, owner of Pink Ladies Aerobics of and Fitness studio of Cranbrook Road, Northampton and teacher offers pole fitness as one of her weekly trained classes. She said: “We must distinguish pole fitness from pole dancing, because people need endurance, strength, flexibility and rhythm. Pole dancing includes dance elements for entertainment, pole fitness is gymnastic skill. It is an art too, just like gymnastics.”

For many years pole dancing has been linked to strip clubs and has perhaps been wrongly associated with the seedy underbelly of society. Preconceived opinions and ideas however are slowly drifting as the demanding form of dance has been represented in the media. Both Got to Dance UK and Britain’s Got Talent had finalists on the show who were Pole dancers.

Modern sports have been introduced into the Olympics, like BMX’ing and equestrian dressage, so pole competitors are questioning why the vertical bar does not have a chance in the gymnastics when the horizontal bar has. Men have also been recently jumping on the craze and there are even competitions for both sexes to compete in.

For more information about getting Pole being accepted into the Olympics, go to http://www.petitiononline.com/polympic/petition.html.

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