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World Pole Dancing Championship Dominated By Russians, Ukrainians (PHOTOS)

World Pole Dance Championship

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 11/12/12 EST Updated: 11/13/12 EST

After Americans went to the polls, the rest of the world went to the poles -- for the World Pole Dancing Championships this past weekend in Zurich, Switzerland.

Dancers from 26 countries did what they could do to raise the bar for the sport, which has become as popular in gyms as it has in exotic night clubs.

Some say the physical act of climbing and twirling around a pole has roots in the Chinese circus, according to PolicyMic.com. Back then, it was performed by men more than women.

It wasn't until the late 1980s that pole dancing moved into gentlemen's clubs.

Because of pole dancing's Asian roots, the Chinese pole dancing team had high hopes to win big in Zurich, according to GlobalTimes.

Instead, the country remains the sport's sleeping giant. The competition was dominated by Russian and Ukraine dancers, including Ukraine's own Natalia Tatarintseva, the top female, according to HuffPost UK,

GALLERY: WORLD POLE DANCING CHAMPIONSHIPS