Pole Dancing In The Olympics? Not Yet But They're Working On It

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"We look forward to the continued growth of Pole Sports as a whole during these challenging and engaging next steps".

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

'In the early 2000s people started doing it as fitness and taking away the sex stigma, so no high heels and making it accessible for average people.

"Pole dancing is not like everyone thinks it is, you need to actually watch it to understand".

'Competitions started but they were very amateur, with friends of friends doing the judging.

In addition to pole dancing, the GAISF also awarded observer status to the World Armwrestling Federation, the World Dodgeball Federation, the Federation for International Footgolf, the International Union of Kettlebell Lifting, the International Federation of Match Poker, and the International Table Soccer Federation. My goal initially was to make it more professional.

'We've been given interim recognition which is fantastic - fantastic for our sport, fantastic for our athletes and fantastic for our community, ' she said.

Pole sports has yet to receive recognition from the International Olympic Committee, but Coates is happy to take on the challenge.

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GAISF president Patrick Baumann said the announcement was "exciting" for pole dancing.

As The Washington Post notes, "Observer status is the first step global federations must achieve before becoming full GAISF members, which serves as a great boost for any sport hoping to one day land in the Olympics".

Included in the mix are tug of war, cheerleading and powerboating, which all have two years to meet requirements set out by GAISF in order to become fully recognised sports.

It must be part of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada): in 2015, the IPSF became an official WADA signatory. "In just eight years we have created a sport, ignited a global following and inspired a new generation of sportsmen - women and children".

'The commission's role is to support all those who qualify and have the potential to raise their sport to the next level'.

Coates told the Daily Mail that five million people participate in pole dancing in more than 500 gyms and studios as a form of fitness.

Since its inception, the IPSF has grown to include 25 national federations and will welcome the USA and China next year.

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