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xmag.com : June 2006 : Pole-Dancing

Did any of you watch any of the Winter Olympics this year? I didn’t think so. I doubt you’re counting the days until the 2008 Summer Games, either. For something that seems so rooted in national pride and features arguably the top athletes in the world, you would think more people would pay attention. Unfortunately for the television networks that broadcast the games, the folks hustling for donations to actually train the athletes and send them to the games—not to mention the rest of us—the Olympics are often more annoying than entertaining.
Crooked judges? Check. Irritating updates that preempt the shit you really want to watch? That, too. The whole curling thing? Who the fuck wants to watch a cross between slow-motion bowling and human Zamboni machines? And what kind of sick motherfuckers actually train for years with those brooms? Eesh!
By now I’ll bet you’re wondering, “What’s this putz bitching about the Olympics for? I thought this was the stripper issue.” Patience, Grasshopper.
Not too long ago I was a judge for one of the rounds in the Sunset Strip contest sponsored by this very magazine. Now I’ve seen my share of strippers. Hell—I’ve seen more chicks disrobe than most gynecologists. I grew up in New Jersey, where go-go bars seem as ubiquitous as coffee houses in Seattle. After moving to the Emerald City, I stopped going to strip clubs altogether. Why? A naked chick grinding all over me? Major turn-on. A naked chick grinding all over me after I paid a cover charge as well as the dancers, drank overpriced Cokes, while surrounded by a bunch of other guys? Not so much.
Still, I’d venture into clubs whenever I’d find myself back east, or in Portland, which should be renamed “Adult Disneyland.” But nothing I’d seen in my years of...uhhh...research could prepare me for what I saw that night at the Fenix.
After viewing the first four contestants, I found myself wondering which of these lovely ladies would garner the highest scores. All were good and physically appealing. I would soon have my answer.
The fifth contestant, Pantera, took the stage sporting gorgeous blonde hair, tribal tattoos, and not much else. She then proceeded to do things on the pole that seemingly defied all laws of physics and gravity. We’re talking Cirque du Soleil moves here! I sat transfixed, watching this incredible woman perform stunts that had an animal grace about them which no one else could approach. Her
super-heroine looks, as well as the sheer physical strength involved in some of these maneuvers, left me confused as to whether
I should go home and beat off or hire her as my bodyguard.
I decided that Pantera deserved better than to be referred to as just a stripper. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a stripper. It’s just that Pantera seemed to be so much more than your average pole-dancer. She seemed to be an athlete! I mused out loud to one of the other judges, “If pole-dancing was an Olympic sport, this chick would win the gold medal.” And then I wondered...
Exactly why isn’t pole-dancing an Olympic sport?
I mean, aside from the horizontal-versus-vertical thing, what difference is there between someone doing stunts on a balance beam and someone doing stunts on a pole? Both disciplines require its purveyors to wear skimpy outfits. And what about the parallel bars? Why is there no vertical parallel bars event? In regards to the dancing part, ice-dancing has been recognized as an Olympic sport for decades, as have many other gymnastic disciplines. Why not pole-dancing?
And lets face facts—the Olympics could use a little sexing-up. Unless you have a fetish for barely pubescent girls or beefy Eastern Bloc man-chicks that probably have bigger balls than Mr. Ed, your options for being turned on are
fairly limited.
So what would it take to have pole-dancing recognized as an Olympic sport?
I decided to do a little research on this matter. Where better to start my search than the official Olympics website at www.olympic.org? There I found the Olympic Charter—109 pages of bylaws and other information pertaining to all things Olympic. In Chapter 5, I found that…only sports widely practised by men in at least seventy-five countries and on four continents, and by women in at least forty countries and on three continents, may be included in the programme of the Games of the Olympiad.
OK—that’s no problem. A Google search with the key words “stripper countries” revealed at least 68 countries on five continents with strip clubs.
Then I found that...A decision to include or exclude a discipline or event falls within the competence of the IOC Executive Board.
Oddly enough, I could find no mention of how one might petition the board. I would imagine it would take a sizeable lobbying effort from a professional organization. To this end, I propose the formation of The International Tribunal of Strippers, or TITS. This would be an allegiance of the top pole-dancers in the world, as well as a lobbying tool and administrative arm. TITS would set criteria for pole-dancing meets as well as judging guidelines. TITS would also encourage the further athletic development of pole-dancers. Each participating country would have its own chapter, or in the Olympic vernacular, International Federation (i.e., TITS USA) and would be responsible for forming squads of the best pole-dancers for international competition. Obviously all nationality guidelines would be followed, as would anti-doping regulations.
I also found that…sports are admitted to the programme of the Olympic Games at least seven years before specific Olympic Games in respect of which no change shall thereafter be permitted.
Unfortunately a best-case scenario would find that the first appearance of pole-dancing in an Olympics would be in the 2016 Summer Games. That allows for plenty of time for the development of TITS, as well as time to focus a concerted international lobbying effort. Lots of corporate funding would be required. (I’m looking at you, Vivid Video!) At the same time, regional meets would serve to find the top pole-dancers as well as generate media attention. Eventually, televised meets would spread the popularity of this budding sport, as well as bring in much-needed revenue. Before you know it you might even see your favorite pole-dancer on a Wheaties box. Mmmmm—dare I dream?
I see no reason why this can’t happen. Pole-dancing is at least as valid a discipline as figure-skating, and way hotter. Let’s get this ball rolling. Tell strippers. Tell strip-club owners. Tell your friends. Tell sports fans. Tell the press. Tell your congressman. Tell them all that you want TITS and you want TITS now!




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