No flag, no show: China’s pole dancers win online praise
Updated 10:26, 28-Jun-2018
A group of Chinese pole dancers have suddenly been thrusted into the limelight as national heroes, after they decided to quit an international pole-dancing event in Italy when the organizer failed to display China’s national flag at the venue.
After they arrived in Florence last Friday for the World Pole Sport Championships, these Chinese pole dancers found something was instantly amiss, when they noticed their national flag was missing from a row of flags outside the venue.
An official at the committee said that a flag pole had been broken and promised to have it fixed during the semi-final stage of the competition. However, that promise was not fulfilled.
Chinese pole dancers defend their flag

Chinese pole dancers defend their flag

Upon seeing that no Chinese flag was hoisted after the semi-finals on Saturday, five dancers who qualified for the final round decided to boycott the rest of the competition. They were still waiting for an explanation from the event organizers.
After they posted pictures of their boycott online, the news soon spread online in China, with the dancers winning praise from many netizens.
“They’re already the champions in our hearts!” one person commented. “Can we give some of the investment put into Chinese football to these lovely girls instead?” said another post. 
The pole dancers raise their own national flag.

The pole dancers raise their own national flag.

Has such a thing happened before?

Yes. In August this year, there was a similar flag incident at a much more high-profile event – the Rio Olympic Games. A flawed version of the Chinese national flag, with its stars not positioned at the right angle, was raised at more than one medal ceremony – even after the issue had been reported to the committee.
The error was first spotted when Chinese sharpshooters Du Li and Yi Siling went to the podium to collect their silver and bronze medals in the 10m air rifle event, on the first day of the Rio Games. The Brazilian committee later issued an apology after the incorrect flag was raised.

Why is there a Chinese national pole dance team?

The members of the so-called “national team” of pole dancing are actually from a non-government sponsored organization. Founded in 2012, the “national team” recruited all of their members from domestic events.
However, the Chinese national team is authorized as a legal member by the World Pole Dance Federation (WPDP), so they are allowed to participate in international events.

Is pole dancing popular in China?

In China, the pole dance industry is still in its infancy. According to a report by the Chinese news website The, 70 percent of domestic pole dance schools or training institutions were in debt as of the first half of 2016, with 30 percent close to bankruptcy.
Moreover, there’s still a prevalent prejudice over pole dancing, as some people regard it as an erotic performance.
In recent years, even though some of these professional pole dancers have found success in international events, they still need to make ends meet by working in part-time jobs. 
Pole dancing's dilemma in China

Pole dancing's dilemma in China