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      Pole fitness: an Olympic sport?

      The criteria for becoming a sport has certainly evolved. Lately, a sport with rebellious roots has been vying for its chance on the Olympic floor.

      Four years ago, Jaylyn Martin's gymnastic skills went vertical, when she replaced her balance beam with a pole.

      "Ever since then it's been kind of an addiction., I can't stop, it's fun and I get to hang upside down and do all kinds of tricks," said Martin, co-owner of L&J's Pole Dance Studio in Marquette.

      She and many others say it's time the International Olympics Committee give it the recognition it deserves. The sport originated as an aerial art, but it didn't really hit mainstream until it became popular in gentlemen's clubs. Now advocates for it are trying to get it back to its original form.

      Instructor Larissa Hanson says in the last five years, worldwide pole fitness competitions have set the bar high, transforming it into a highly athletic event.

      "A lot of the sexiness is going away out of the sport because of those technical moves and that strength going with it," said Hanson, co-owner of L&J's Pole Dance Studio. "It is way beyond what you would see in a gentlemen's club."

      As an Olympic sport, it would be judged like gymnastics.

      "Same type of thing, you'd have to hold a position for a certain amount of time, your flexibility, and choreography and your routine," Hanson said.

      "It's just as hard as anything else," Martin added. "The difficulty of the moves, the different types of holds that we do, it's just unbelievable power and strength and beauty all around."

      Martin says it's an uphill battle to get the IOC's approval. But if the sport does, getting to the medal podium could be more than just a dream.