Pole dancing could become an Olympic event

Pole dancing has officially been recognised as a sport – and organisers are hoping we could one day be seeing the acrobatic moves at the Olympics.

Along with dodgeball and arm-wrestling, it has been awarded observer status by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).

This means organisers will be given help to become compliant with World Anti-Doping Agency rules and towards receiving the required recognition from national Olympic committees.

It comes following an 11-year campaign by the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF).

IPSF president Katie Coates told Sky News it was “phenomenal” to be recognised – and that the plan now is to get to the Olympics.

Image of Katie Coates the president of IPSF after given "observer" status
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International Pole Sports Federation president Katie Coates

“We’ve been given interim recognition which is fantastic – fantastic for our sport, fantastic for our athletes and fantastic for our community,” she said.

“We want those gold medals up there in the Olympic games for our athletes, to be proud of our athletes and our sport.”

Asked if the sport could be judged as part of gymnastics, Ms Coates said she wanted to “compete in our own right”.

In the last six years, pole dancing has had an 82% increase in male participation, according to Polesports UK.

GAISF president Patrick Baumann said the Olympics could be in reach.

“We warmly welcome our first observers,” he said. “This is an exciting time for them and for us and we will do everything within our remit to help them realise their full potential as international federations within the global sports family and, one day, maybe become part of the Olympic programme.

“The new sports debuting at Tokyo 2020 and at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics are evidence that the pathway is there.”

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