Pole dancing heading to … the Olympics?

By Katie Wolf

Just when the world thought it had seen it all, pole dancers may show up to the 2016 Olympics looking to compete — thongs, bras and all — for gold medals. This may seem like the perfect April Fools’ Day joke, but the cosmos are aligning for this crude art form. Just think of it …

Sportscaster Bob Costas’ potential future commentary: “Candy Waxheimer takes her position at the freely suspending pole. It all comes down to this; One woman, one pole, one medal. She begins with the standard wrap … Nicely done. Now each competitor is required to do at least four compulsory maneuvers and two stunts comprised of combination movements. Candy has gone through the basics with no problem and here comes the last stunt … She nails her last stunt with a knee hold cradle spin followed by a shoulder mount flip over. Let’s see what the judges say … And she has taken over the top spot. Will that be enough for gold? Stay tuned for these messages …”

So how did this all begin? The erotic style known as pole dancing began to be recognized as good exercise. Pole dancing cardio routines and instructional classes recently became widespread.

The hobby has become so popular that a group — let’s call them pole dancing enthusiasts — decided it was time to take this kinky past-time to the international level. A petition currently is being circulated. If all goes well, pole dancers will be standing on the 2016 Olympic podium.

Pole dancing is controversial but let’s not deprive those women who work hard to show off their moves. These individuals may not have the flexibility of gymnasts, but they are older than 13. Flexibility and gymnastic fitness seem to reach their peak at 16. In fact, pole dancing, or the “vertical beam” could be the sport for those gymnasts in their late teens.

Let’s not forget about the men either. Men have the same right to the vertical beam as women. If the International Olympic Committee can allow women’s hockey, men’s vertical beam is surely acceptable.

Many may say the Olympics is a family-oriented affair. I couldn’t agree more. Fortunately I have a few remedies to keep the would-be sport G-rated:

1) Implement U.S. Pole Dancing Federation dress code rules: No nudity, no G-strings or thongs. Special suits can be made to expose only forearms and shins with the country logo or flag branded on the side. It’s elegant, classy and the performers might just look like Olympians.

2) Straight, nonsexual classical music will be used instead of the overused, burlesgue music beat. Mozart, Rossini, Schubert, Beethoven and Liszt are all appropriate. Classical music takes the funk out of the dance. A stripper may bounce her junk to the beat, but only an Olympic vertical beam participant will move gracefully to a piano concerto.

3) No financial bonuses during the routines. Tipping will be outlawed among vertical beam athletes. A main stigma of pole dancing is based on the wager system. A dancer will look and do things more sexy with a monetary incentive. Take the dollars out, take the sexy out.

Even a sport that is family-oriented with time honored tradition — curling, track, bob-sled or soccer — needs to have a substantial audience. Ever wonder why the shot-put is only broadcasted 5 percent of the time compared to the 100-meter dash? It’s all about TV ratings. This is an area made for the vertical beam. If everything goes according to plan, Bob Costas will get, substantially, less airtime.

For those of you watching the Winter Olympics this year and for the past 16 years — these games are the 9th Olympics for Bob — I feel your pain. NO MORE COSTAS! He can’t even pronounce Chris Collinsworth’s name correctly. His best performance, to date, was last Thursday on the Colbert Report. Even Rachel Maddow does a better show.

The vertical beam could attract a new crowd; an untapped abundance of viewers with a combined capability to boost TV ratings. Now, I know the Summer Olympics may not need a bigger audience, but more popularity never hurt anyone.

All in all pole dancing has a long way to go to reach Olympic status. It will most likely not be an Olympic sport by 2016, but some of us are dreamers. At least pole dancing is good exercise nowadays. So watch out guys. If your girl is taking pole dancing lessons, it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s a stripper. She may just be working out.