For the first time, men competed in the 2011 World Pole Dancing Competition.

Thousands of pole dancers and a rapidly growing number of international and national federations are transforming what was once the exclusive property of strip clubs and cheap bars into a respectable and highly athletic event.

Sanctioned competitions are already held in the United States, Australia and Europe by various Pole Dancing Federations.

Fans are hoping that pole dancing can become an Olympic event.

A group of pole-dance advocates is hoping for a test event in 2012 and a more formal pitch four years after that, in Rio de Janeiro.

If you like the idea, sign the petition.

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