Mesmerizing mermaids: Can underwater pole dancing become new aquatics sport?

Underwater pole dancing is a relatively new aquatics discipline which is rapidly gaining popularity throughout the world, attracting more and more followers who have found a new passion in the unusual swimming hobby.

A mixture of artistic swimming and pole dancing, it requires much physical strength and a unique breath-holding technique necessary to pull off difficult poses.

The discipline is similar to traditional pole dancing with acrobatics and dancing elements being performed on a vertical pole. However, the liquid surface allows “swimming dancers” to float under the water holding their poses for quite a long time, which would be impossible on land.

It remains unknown whether underwater pole dancing has any chance of becoming an officially-recognized sport as it must meet several obligatory requirements, including creating a governing body which will be responsible for promoting the sport on the international stage.

Pole dancing has made several unsuccessful attempts to be included into Olympic Games after being provisionally regarded as sport. In 2017, pole dancing was provisionally recognized by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), receiving an “observer status” necessary to be considered for Olympic participation.

However, the sport has not yet entered the Olympic program which welcomed other “exotic” sports to the 2024 Paris Games. In March, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended surfing, breakdancing, skateboarding, and sport climbing, for provisional inclusion in the Paris Olympics.

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