Poker, foosball and pole dancing. What do these things have in common?
Well, besides being reasonable activities for a night out in Atlantic City, officials who help prepare specific sports for Olympic recognition apparently think they could soon take their place alongside running, gymnastics and ski jumping in the world’s most prestigious athletic competition.
The Switzerland-based Global Association of International Sports Federations earlier this month granted observer status to the International Federation of (Match) Poker, the International Pole Sports Federation and International Table Soccer Federation along with the organizing bodies for four other nontraditional sports — the first step toward joining the Olympic program.
“We warmly welcome our first Observers,” Patrick Baumann, the president of GAISF, said in a statement. “This is an exciting time for them and for us and we will do everything within our remit to help them realize their full potential as International Federations within the global sport’s family and, one day, maybe become part of the Olympic program.”
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