Health Controversy: Pole Dancing Could Be an Official Olympic Sport in 2016--Should it Be?

There's a serious movement for qualified pole dancers to compete in the Olympics in 2016. But there's a big hurdle: pole dancing must be recognized as an official sport first.
Lexi Petronis, Glamour Magazine
The International Pole Sports Federation's mission is to introduce the world to the sport of pole dancing, and take its athletes all the way to the Olympics.

There's no doubt that pole dancing requires skill. I mean, take a look at photos from the World Pole Sport Fitness Championships: such moves take some serious athleticism (and note the muscles!). And it's been getting recognition for its degree of physical difficulty (pole dancing classes have been popping up in fitness clubs all over the country). So is the main problem that people associate pole dancing too closely with stripping?

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According to U.S. National Pole Dancing Champion Natasha Wang , yes: "My stance has always been that while I support the pole community's efforts to get pole into the Olympics, I don't think the general public is ready for the sport yet on such a mainstream/public scale."

The debate reminds me of the one about cheerleading--it's clear the participants are highly trained athletes, but the history of the sport is weighed down with some preconceived notions as to what people think it's all about. What do you think?

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Should pole dancing be welcome to compete in the Olympics someday? Have you ever tried it?

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