Tags: pole dancing | olympics | twirl

Pole Dancing an Olympic Sport? '24 Games Could Give It a Twirl

Image: Pole Dancing an Olympic Sport? '24 Games Could Give It a Twirl
(International Pole Sports Federation website screengrab)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 October 2017 09:54 AM

Pole dancing could become an Olympic sport after the Global Association of International Sports Federation put it in "observer status." (No pun intended.)

The International Pole Sports Federation received the provisional designation along with six other sports this month, London's Daily Mail reported.

Some of the other newly-recognized sports include armwrestling, dodgeball and table soccer.

The Global Association of International Sports Federation’s website said the group represents 109 international sports federations and bodies and is closely aligned with the International Olympic Committee.

The pole-dancing recognition is another step in the 11-year fight started by Katie Coates, 41, to get it recognized as an Olympic sport, the Daily Mail said, and Coates has been pushing for it to be included in the 2024 Olympic Games.

Coates is president of the International Pole Sports Federation.

"In the early 2000s people started doing it as fitness and taking away the sex stigma, so no high heels and making it accessible for average people," Coates told the Daily Mail. "Pole dancing is not like everyone thinks it is, you need to actually watch it to understand.”

"Competitions started but they were very amateur, with friends of friends doing the judging. My goal initially was to make it more professional. I feel like we have achieved the impossible, everyone told us that we would not be able to get pole dancing recognized as a sport."

The Telegraph reported the sport still needs to become compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency and increase it membership across the world before it can approach the IOC about membership.

The pole sports federation has tried to take the snickers out of the routine that was once identified with strip clubs by starting its own sports championship in 2012. Held annually in London, the championship draws 150 participants from 30 countries, its website said.

Competitors come from countries like the United States, Chile, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa, according to its website, and the Daily Mail said the pole sports federation, organized in 2009, now has 25 national federations.

Coates told the Daily Mail that five million people participate in pole dancing in more than 500 gyms and studios as a form of fitness.

Other federations that received provisional status this month were the World Armwrestling Federation, World Dodgeball Association, Federation for International FootGolf, International Union of Kettlebell Lifting, International Federation of (Match) Poker, and the International Table Soccer Federation.

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Pole dancing could become an Olympic sport after the Global Association of International Sports Federation put it in "observer status."
pole dancing, olympics, twirl
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2017-54-18
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 09:54 AM
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