Central Oregon has itself a pair of world title holders competing in a sport that involves strength, flexibility, and balance.
Andrew Krueger and Shannon Daily both placed in the POSA World Pole Championships.
The Central Oregonians made the trip to Bologna, Italy for the competition in December.
The achievement has been a dream of Kreuger’s for a while now.
“Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always wanted to be Team USA,” Kreuger said. “I’ve always wanted to do a world competition.”
Kreuger’s performance landed him a 7th place spot in the Men’s Senior Elite Pole Art category.
“I did something revolving around anxiety and depression,” Kreuger said. “The story that I wanted to tell was this person who’s making this decision to not necessarily feel better or be happy, but to just continue moving with their life.”
Daily, the extremely humble 59-year-old, placed 3rd in her age category at that same competition.
“I was going to retire at Sport at 60 because I’m going to be 60 this year,” Daily said. “Now I’m like well maybe I won’t do that. Maybe I won’t retire, maybe I’ll just keep going.”
Both Kreuger and Daily have backgrounds in gymnastics and are instructors at Seksé Fit in Bend.
The local fitness studio proves there is more to the pole than meets the eye.
“Even to look slinky and smooth,” Daily said. “It takes tons of strength and tons of flexibility.”
More competitions are likely in these instructors futures, but for now, they encourage locals to give this sport a go.
“If you’ve ever thought maybe this would be something I’d like, come and try it,” Kreuger said. “It’s worth it.”