Apr 25, 2008, 12:04PM

Sporting Legitimacy A Class Issue

A writer tries to figure out why ice dancing is respected as an Olympic sport, yet pro wrestling is ridiculed. The only meaningful difference is the social class of the fans.

"Ice dancing is kind of like the bastard cousin of figure skating and ribbon dancing - it's done on ice, there aren't any big jumps - the choreography and performance are the most important aspects.

The corollary to professional wrestling is easy to see. Pro wrestling is the bastard cousin of amateur wrestling and performance art wherein jacked-up men and women in tiny, often spangled pants athletically play-fight for the entertainment of millions.

The main theoretical difference between pro wrestling and ice dancing is the presence of a regulatory body and an official judging committee that legitimizes ice dancing.

It's a sport because someone judges it and decides there is a legitimate winner. The same thing happens in pro wrestling, it's just that the judge picks the winner before and rewards the best performer with future success afterward.


  • I would hardly consider Ice Dancing a serious Olympic sport, as this writer claims. Agreed, it is certainly as ridiculous as pro-wrestling, but the difference is, it's not scripted. Yes, it is choreographed ahead of time, but the winner and outcomes for each team aren't predetermined. If choreography alone means Ice Dancing and pro-Wrestling are essentially the same, than isn't all performance art and actual figure skating for that matter basically just pro-Wrestling? The truth is, I don't think either pro-Wrestling or Ice Dancing are really legitimate sports.

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