Watching 11-year-old pole sports phenom Paige Olson go through her complex and physically taxing routine in front of a panel of judges and a crowd of fellow athletes in London at the 2016 World Pole Sports Championship, coach Katrina Wyckoff said that she couldn’t call what happened next a surprise.
When the woman operating scores stood up and said “Shut the front door, we just broke a world record,” Wyckoff said that all she could do was cry.
Already a world champion, Olson – who trains out of Oro Valley-based Centre Stage Pole Fitness – won her age division, set a world record and was part of a United States team effort which netted a team championship.
Of the seven women who represented the country, four hailed from the Oro Valley school. Olson and Wyckoff were joined in London by Zoe Blair and Bree McClanahan.
While winning world championships and setting records is impressive – the woman of Centre Stage have higher ambitions.
“None of this happens by accident, all of these things have been carefully planned out and we have a goal to see pole in the Olympics,” Wyckoff said. “We want to be a part of it when it goes there, so we are training as many athletes as we can and sending them to as many competitions as we can.”
Though the establishment may be more than 10-years-old, Centre Stage has been involved in pole sports since the fall of 2014, with interest throughout the community spreading quite rapidly. Now boasting a team of more than ten athletes, Wyckoff is building momentum towards even more global success.
Playing a quite visual role in that Olympic bid is young Olson, who was also selected by the International Pole Sports Federation as the poster child for Olympic recognition.
“It’s so exciting,” Wyckoff said. “But I want to be clearthat the path is still long and there are, from the time that something qualifies, still several years. It’s not something that will happen for Tokyo but it’s something that we hope to happen for Paige. She is literally the poster child for this push to the Olympics.”
Helping to develop and train Olson and other Centre Stage athletes, Wyckoff has expanded her business in recent months to better suit pole sports. The business has now opened a second location at 1335 West Lambert Lane #115. The new building includes competition-grade, 14-foot high poles, space for a competition set-up with two poles and a stage.
Not a group to rest on their laurels, the Centre Stage team will continue to compete and spread word of the sport in the future. The team recently spent time as panelists in Las Vegas for the 2016 Pole Expo to discuss the Olympics.
Next month Olson, Wyckoff and McClanahan will act as delegates of the sport at the TAFISA (The Association for international Sports for All) world games in Indonesia. Wyckoff also said there are plans to compete in the U.S. Pole Sport Federation national competition next January.
According to Wyckoff, each win, each performance is one step close to the ultimate goal.
“It’s a long journey and the sport has to continue to grow and one of those things is gaining recognition at sporting events like the TAFISA world games. It’s one step, were crossing off one more thing on the way to the Olympics.”
For more information on Centre Stage Dance Studio or Pole Fitness, visit www.csdstucson.com.