(CBS/AP) Pole vaulting: Olympic event since 1896. Pole dancing: Olympic event starting in 2016?
It's not out of the question. Last year, the Pole Fitness Association circulated petitions to get the dance form into the 2012 Summer Games. Alas, the IOC must have deemed pole dancing more Las Vegas than London because it did not make the cut. But the campaign goes on.
Pole dancing may still conjure images of strip clubs for many, but these days it's actually more about health clubs. The sensual dance is commonly called "pole fitness" or "vertical dance," and there are more than 500 pole dancing fitness studios across the United States.
"Nowadays there are very few who are training to perform in a strip club," Anjel Dust, an organizer at the California Pole Dance Championships, told LA Weekly last year. "It's all about fitness or competitions. There is no longer the stigma. I think pole dancing is being seen more as an art form."
That may well be true for Anjel Dust, but for now the IOC is standing firm. Pole dancing -- with its connotations of seedy night clubs and half-naked women - has been lobbying to be accepted into the Games for a few years now. Other than a name change, pole fitness (or vertical dancing) may have more work ahead to tone down its sexy past to make the Games.