While the East Coast might think about including running from zombies into their Olympic training (I mean if you can’t beat them, include them), there are a couple other sports that are trying to get into olympic status: pole dancing and yoga.
Now it’s true that both of these are proven workouts that require a great amount of training, but according to the Olympics official website:
“To make it onto the Olympic program, a sport first has to be recognized: it must be administered by an International Federation which ensures that the sport’s activities follow the Olympic Charter. If it is widely practiced around the world and meets a number of criteria established by the IOC (International Olympics Committee) session, a recognized sport may be added to the Olympic program on the recommendation of the IOC’s Olympic Programme Commission.”
Other sports have petitioned the committee in past years and made it onto the roster, but both of these sports provide their own unique barriers of public opinion to overcome.
Ask anyone what the first thing that comes to mind is when you say “pole dancing,” and it is probably something related to strippers. Would that be a good or bad thing for the Olympics? Everyone knows sex sells and pole dancing is a pretty sensual sport.
According to the U.S. Pole Dance Federation’s website, it was founded in 2008 because at the time there were no organizations to accurately judge a pole-dance competition fairly. Now the competitions are scored on flexibility, sensuality, creativity, physical strength, individual style and coordination. Most of those are involved with sports, but I don’t believe any other sport can be scored on sensuality.
It seems like it is on its way to becoming a recognized and respected sport, but one still has to wonder about the negative connotations that are associated with it and what that negativity would bring to the Olympics.
Also, would Olympic pole dancing make it acceptable for little children to want to grow up to be pole dancers? It’s hard for me to say yes to that when most of the pole dancing products, classes and logos show silhouettes of women upside down in the splits on a pole.
As for yoga, it is taking off its namaste gloves and going for the gold. To me the idea of competition in yoga kind of negates the purpose of yoga, but I’ve only done it a few times.
The U.S. Yoga Federation website states that yoga competitions have been happening for a long time in India and that USYF is encouraging yoga asana (yoga positions) as a sport in order to bring the “spirit of healthy competition to the United States.”
But competition is competition, and whatever sport it’s in, people are going to get serious about it. If it’s just the balance, grace, flexibility, and that the judges are focusing on, it seems like that takes away the very core of yoga, which is the improvement of spiritual and meditative states. And since there really is no way to judge what color a person’s aura is that day, it seems like it would be more of a posing competition than yoga.
Al in all, though, it will be interesting to see if both of these sports make it into the next Olympic games and which event sells more tickets.