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Greta Pontarelli, 61, of Temecula.
Greta Pontarelli, 61, of Temecula.

Senior puts her own spin on upward mobility to win pole sport competition

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
Issue 48, Volume 16.
Carol Malin
Special to the Valley News

Sixty-one-year-old Greta Pontarelli put her own spin on the term "upward mobility" when she took first place in the Masters Championship Division at the Southern Pole Championships (SPC) this month. She added a second place win in the Masters Artistic Division. Greta is currently the oldest professional pole competition champion in the United States.

This Temecula businesswoman, wife and mother of two, took her first pole class at the age of 59 with the idea of increasing her muscle strength and building bone mass to stave off osteoporosis.

After her first workout she was hooked on the healthy exercise the pole provided, as well as the opportunity for artistic expression it allowed. Soon she began choreographing a routine for competition. She says her best trick is to execute a handspring and go to a passé Iron-X on the pole, which demands extreme control and strong core muscles.

Kick-starting her athletic career earlier this year, Pontarelli auditioned for TV’s American Ninja Warriors and made it to the semi-finals. In May, she took second in the Masters Artistic Division at the Pacific Pole Championships in Los Angeles. In August, she landed a second place finish in the North American Masters Division at the Midwest Pole Competition in Chicago. For Greta, these wins Advertisement
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were building blocks to her first-place victory this month at the SPC in Houston.

Knowing that the sport requires tremendous upper body strength to lift and hold her body perpendicular to the pole at times while demonstrating artistic technique with grace and agility, Pontarelli commits to a daily practice schedule. She is no stranger to strenuous training. In her youth, Pontarelli competed nationally as a gymnast and was named the Pennsylvania Floor Exercise Champion. In the 1980s she won national awards as a martial artist.

"Pole fitness can be very empowering for women as they will gain physical and mental strength," said Pontarelli. "I hope to inspire baby boomers and others to exercise, eat wholesome foods and continually try to become the best they can become. My message is to never give up…keep challenging yourself. There is no better time to live the life that you would love to live than now."

Amy Guion, Pole Sport Organization co-founder, host of the Houston event, said, "Over the past five years we have seen pole become one of the fastest growing sports in the nation. Congratulations to Greta Pontarelli for her first place win in the Masters Championships category."

Visit to learn more about Greta Pontarelli and her pole sport challenges.



Comment Profile Imagejoni hafley
Comment #1 | Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 at 4:59 am
Greta is truly inspiring! She has found the fountain of youth!
Comment Profile ImageSuzanne Toussaint
Comment #2 | Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 at 9:34 am
Beginning an exercise regime such as this one I would imagine would be challenging but the results for body, mind and spirit could be amazing. She is truly an inspiration to all of us.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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