Recently I heard something on the news that really got me thinking. There has been some interest in adding a new event to the Olympics. That in itself didn’t seem surprising, just this year at the Winter Olympics there was the addition of Ski cross. Fan’s loved it. I’m all about trying to keep people’s interest with new events. The event or “sport” being discussed as a new addition did come as a bit of a shock. Pole Dancing. That’s right...the “sport” made famous by naked women in seedy bars could become part of the world stage of the Olympics. I would prefer to refer to Pole Dancing as more of an art than a sport. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly an athletic aspect to it. One could even compare it to those Olympic athletes that perform on the parallel bars. The only difference really is that the poles of one are vertical and the others are horizontal. I found myself really thinking about the possibilities... What could the structure for this type of event be? Would there be divisions similar to that of Ice Dancing- women’s, men’s and couples? What types of moves would qualify for a higher score? Trust me, I can easily take something like this and run with it mentally for days...
Now, let me start by saying I am far from a prude. My view of Pole Dancing does not coincide with those who feel it is degrading to women. In fact, I can see some women using it as a way to build strength and stay in shape. I personally have never attempted it, not because of any opposition to it, but possibly because of intimidation. I see commercials on television all the time for workout videos that teach things such as Lap Dancing and Pole Dancing. There are a number of women who have there own poles at home that can be removed very easily, just in time for their fellow PTA members to drop by, and I say good for them...and their spouses. Not only can it keep you fit, it can keep the hubby from spending all the grocery money on watching someone else perform the “art”. Those who doubt that there is athletic ability needed to pole dance, check out the link to the video for the National Pole Dancing Championship that I have attached below. These are certainly the elite in the art. I would have to think that if I entered any local “establishment” I would not encounter women whose skills were even remotely close to those in this video, or needed in order to compete in the Olympics.
I found myself wondering how the event would be judged. There are currently events in both the Winter and Summer Olympics that are required to be judged by a person’s interpretation. Pole Dancing would have to be judged in a way similar to Ice Dancing or Gymnastics. Unlike events that have competitors who are trying to beat the clock, to determine the winner a judge would have to be more cerebral. These types of events seem to become hot topic issues when a country feels their representative has been robbed of a medal because a judge did not interpret the routine the way they had hoped. I wonder if a judge could remove the erotica that is usually part of a pole dancing routine and actually rate it on the technical difficulty of the routine. What is technically difficult on a pole? I would assume there are different names for the tricks that are used, similar to say, Snowboarding. Shaun White just unveiled a new trick in Snowboarding this year called the Double McTwist 1260. For all I know this is also a Pole Dancing move. The judges would have to be educated in these types of things in order to do a good job. Imagine the number of applications for the judging of this event. My husband thinks the judging panel should be all male since they are, after all, the general spectators of this “sport”. I believe a woman could be a bit more biased, and not have the score be in direct proportion to the competitor’s chest.
Another question I have is- would men participate? In order for a sport to be allowed in the Olympics it could not discriminate against men and refuse their right to compete. This in and of itself could put the kibosh on the whole idea. I’ve never seen, nor heard of a man who participates in Pole Dancing. I’m sure there are some out there but can only imagine the stigma attached to it. Just as male Figure Skaters are assumed to be feminine or gay, male Pole Dancers would face much of the same. To be honest I’m not really sure I would even want to see a male Pole Dancer, but that’s just me.
Overall, I’m not opposed to the addition of Pole Dancing to the Olympics. I just don’t think it would be able to overcome the obstacles it faces to do so. It would certainly draw spectators, many of which have never even watched the Olympics because they considered them to be boring. If it does get in, they may want to schedule a Curling match between Pole Dancing sets just to help that event’s ratings. I can just see it, years down the road, my sons coming over to visit and watch the Olympics with their dear old dad. As they gather around the television my husband turns to them and says “Boys, when I was your age, they didn’t have Pole Dancing in the Olympics....now pass your old man a beer and don’t talk until this is over!”
Click Here to see video