Pole Dancing at the Olympics?

Every four years we count down the days until the Olympics when we can watch the world’s most talented athletes compete for the gold in all of our favorite sports.  You know… curling, skeleton, and tug-of-war (yes, it was actually once an Olympic sport).  OK so maybe they’re not our favorite sports…. and maybe we hear nothing about them all year until the Olympics… and then maybe we spend the whole time trying to figure out what is going on. (“Isn’t that just really fast sledding!?”)

Yeah, that’s about right.

We all know that 90% of the Olympic sports are pretty random, so what are the requirements for a sport to be admitted?  Requires strength? Athletic ability? Spandex? Stamina? If that’s the case, then how’s this for a proposal: pole dancing.

The future for pole dancing in the Olympics is probably not right around the corner, but believers are already starting to lobby for it to become one.  Ridiculous you say? More ridiculous than Biathlon? I mean, take away the pole and isn’t it almost the same thing as gymnastics?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of adding this “sport” to the Big Games.

CON: It’s pole dancing! The sport of the strippers!  Do we really want people who are paid to take their clothes off representing our country?

PRO: Clothed or nipple tasseled, anyone who has tried pole dancing knows that it is extremely difficult.  It requires an insane amount of practice, strength, and flexibility. And it’s 2010 – pole dancing has been taken out of the dark, smoky strip clubs and has turned into a widely accepted form of exercise and fun activity.

CON: How would the event even be scored? By the speed at which clothes are removed? “Candy (USA) scored a 10 with her record breaking time: She managed to tear her entire outfit off in 2.6 seconds!!” Would stiletto height be considered in reference to level of difficulty? What about acrylic length?

PRO: Just think of the commentating! “Representing Team USA, Luscious! Luscious has been honing her craft since she was 17. She always dreamed of big things, but never imagined she’d end up on this world stage. ”

CON: It’s degrading to women, duh.

PRO: Male pole dancers. Yum.

CON: It’s not really the most wholesome “sport,” and the Olympics really are a family event.

PRO: If ever there were something to increase viewership (besides Michael Phelps, that is), Pole Dancing is definitely it.

So, what do you think? Should Pole Dancing be considered an Olympic sport?

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  1. There are national pole dancing competitions already, and it's not like anything you'd see in strip clubs. The girls wear leotards and the moves are more like ballet then anything erotic.

  2. kirsten says:

    Pole dancing competitions are crazy! Kelly was right, it is nothing like what you see in strip clubs. These women are crazy strong. It would be neat to see this at the olympics. But I doubt that will ever happen.

  3. Rachel says:

    I work at a pole dance/fitness studio, and while I'm still not sure how I feel about it being in the Olympics, I definitely have some beef with your pros and cons.

    For one thing, pole dancing is not degrading to women. Not to all women, at any rate. The dancers are strong and are actually empowered by their art. They don't dance to please men; rather, they are masters of their own bodies and art-form because it is what they enjoy. In going up and contradicting stereotypes, they are accomplishing the opposite of degredation.

    (Plus, the "Male pole dancers. Yum." comment really weakens any claim you might make to being concerned for how people are viewed for their bodies.)

    Second, pole competitions (out of the strip clubs) have nothing to do with taking off clothes. There are plenty of competitions out there that already have scoring standards, too, so coming up with guidelines isn't as alien as you make it out to be. While competitive pole dancers do tend to have small outfits, it's not because they're stripping. Instead, the technique requires much skin contact with the pole for the purposes of grip (just like swimmers and gymnasts have their own reasons for leotard-style outfits.)

    And as for wholesomeness, that's obviously always a matter of subjectivity, with any sport or… well, with anything, really. But if you ever watch a pole competition (which I highly recommend – they're very impressive!), you can quickly see that it isn't any more anti-family than, say, gymnastics. Hopefully with more publicity, more Americans will be able to make that realization.

    I know your post doesn't completely denounce the art – your first "pro" makes that clear – but I just wanted to clear up some of the bits of misinformation.

    My case in point: pole dancing is not just for strippers anymore. So don't be so quick to encourage the stereotypes.

  4. belle says:

    i've never seen a pole-dancing competition…are the moves "sexy"? as in, a lot of bending over and upside-down spread-eagels? b/c i don't know if i'd call that family friendly…

  5. Zoe says:

    Maybe if the pole was placed horizontally, people would have less of a beef with it?

    I kid.

    Pole dancing just needs to be freed from the strip club context.

  6. vitamin says:

    @belle: if you've never seen a pole dancing competition, come over to my site and surf it. You'll see some pole competion videos and maybe learn a thing or two…it's all good. :)

    I give two thumbs up for pole dancing in the olympics; pole sport!

    The amazing talent and strength the top level pole dancers have is astonishing.

  7. vitamin says:

    wooops, the site is dallaspoledancing.com.


  8. claire says:

    ignorant bitch. have you ever even seen a pole dancing competition? ughhh i hate comments like this. oh yeah, like at the olympics they're gonna be judging who is the fastest to take their clothes off.

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