On July 19th and 20th, just days before the 2012 Summer Olympics were scheduled to open, the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) hosted the World Pole Sports Championship in London. The goal of the competition was to lay the groundwork to eventually get pole fitness into the Olympics: "Far from being just about pole dancing, pole sports or 'vertical gymnastics,' requires strength, athleticism, creativity, and grace. And pole sports athletes across the world are ready to get their sport recognized by the greatest sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games."
The IPSF was established in 2010 with the goal of taking pole to the World Games and the Olympics. The organization lists their leadership as follows: Tim Trautman (US), KT Coates (UK), Megan Miller (US), Mary Ellyn Weissman (US), Ania Przeplasko (Poland), Adrian Tan (Singapore), Kate Whitley (UK), Traci Lujan (US), Gabriela Munoz (Mexico), Sabrina Waller (Australia), Mara Latasa Saloj (Argentina), and Fawnia Dietrich (US).
In addition to releasing a 15-page book of Competition Rules and Regulations, a nine-page Ethical Code of Conduct was also published for the competitors: "The Code of Ethics exist as a set of beliefs that have been written to serve as guidelines for the way in which all Members, be they competitors, officials, coaches, administrators, or others, should strive to conduct themselves as Members of the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) family."
The World Pole Sports Championship had three categories: Women’s Singles, Men’s Singles, and Doubles. The top athletes were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals.
The winners were as follows:
Women's Single Champions:
Gold: Natalia Tatarintseva - Ukraine
Silver: Alessandra Marchetti - Italy
Bronze: Polina Volchek - Russia
Men's Single Champions:
Gold: Eugeny Greshilov - Russia
Silver: Guillaume Saunier - France
Bronze: Kazuya Naka - Japan
Gold: Ruth Mansfield and Tiffany Downes - Australia
Silver: Sarah Scott and Bendy Kate - United Kingdom
Bronze: Kazuya Naka and Masayo Okamoto - Japan
The Pole Dancing Shop would like to congratulate all of the participants in this very first World Pole Sports Championship! It sounds like this was a successful first step toward adding pole as an Olympic sport!
Are you excited about the possibility of pole being in the Olympics? We were unable to attend but enjoyed watching Facebook updates each day. If you were at the competition, please tell us about it!