Pole dancing an Olympic sport? Federation moves to get attention

Pole dancing an Olympic sport? Federation moves to get attention

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by Vanessa Bolano / WGNO via CNN

khou.com

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 7:32 AM

It takes all kinds of athletic ability to become an Olympian.

Some row. Others swim. Some even vault with poles.

But what about twirling around poles?

There's a movement to make pole dancing a part of the Olympics some day.

For the past eight years, Andrea Duhe has been transforming her body with the help of a pole.

"You're practicing, and all of a sudden, you find yourself stronger, and you can do more. And then, you look at the scale, and you're lighter, and you see you have more muscle tone," says Duhe.

She's one of several who has uncovered her strength at Body in Motion in Metairie, LA. In the three years the studio has been around, interest in pole fitness has more than doubled.

"You're lifting your own body weight, you know," says instructor Samantha Huffman. "You're controlling all of your own muscles, and your body, to do those moves and the transitions smoothly, and safely."

Making moves look effortless takes a ton of control.

This year, the International Pole Sports Federation hosted a world championship in London, just days before the Olympics. It's no coincidence. They're doing it to get on the Olympic Committee's radar. The foundation has even drawn up an official rule book for pole dancing.

The quest to make pole dancing an Olympic sport began two years ago. The argument is it takes fitness, strength, athleticism, and grace. It uses just about every muscle in your body.

"We're gripping with our thighs, our ankles, our armpits, your side," said Huffman."There's a level of dedication and training you have to put into it to get anywhere. It's a type of gymnastics, but its a vertical apparatus."

While the sport won't be in the Olympics this year, these ladies deem it worthy. As to whether it will be included in the 2016 Games, we'll have to wait and see.

According to the International Olympic Committee, a sport has to meet some specific criteria to be considered for the games.

In addition to having an International Federation, the sport must be widely practiced around the world.

 

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