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Woman part of push to make ‘pole dancing’ an Olympic sport

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s not just for gentlemen’s clubs anymore. A new fitness phenomenon is taking pole fitness out of the clubs and possibly onto the Olympic stage.

“That’s really big for the pole community because we’re finally getting recognized as a real sport,” said Kylie Marsh, an Albuquerque pole athlete reacting to the International Olympic Committee recognizing ‘pole fitness’ as a sport.

Marsh, who is a competitive pole fitness athlete, says between the bruises, blisters, and sweat, there’s really nothing sexy about it. “It’s not really all about sex appeal, you know it’s a lot about power and agility,” said Marsh.

Marsh is a former bodybuilder. She trains three to four times a day, and says pole fitness requires a whole new set of skills.

“You have to train flexibility, you have to train grip strength, you have to train conditioning, you have to be able to hold yourself on the pole for a long time,” said Marsh.

Marsh says the competitions are becoming more fierce since the IOC recognized the sport back in 2017, and it is now trying to move forward. The road to becoming an Olympic sport is long, but it’s one Marsh hopes to be part of.

“Oh my God, yes,” said Marsh. She thinks people’s perception of the sport will change as they realize the skills needed to pull it off.

“It’s really frustrating to explain…No, I don’t dance at a club, I dance at home and it’s really only for a workout,” said Marsh.

Marsh is competing in a meet in Las Vegas this weekend. She says she would like to see more competitors from New Mexico and to see more competitions in the state.

The next step for pole sports to become part of the Olympic Games is for leaders to prove there is a broad, international appeal.