Cheerleading Recognized as an International Sport

Cheerleading was recently recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee, but that doesn't entail cheerleading as an official Olympic event.

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Clare Kimmis

The growing popularity of cheerleading is attributed to its recent recognition as a sport by the International Olympic Committee.

Kelly Nugent, Video Content Editor

The International Olympic Committee recognized cheerleading as an official sport earlier this week. A topic that has provoked controversy for years was put to rest Wednesday Dec. 7 when the IOC gave a unanimous vote towards the topic.

This label given by the IOC lasts for three years, meaning that the cheer governing board will receive $25,000 a year as well as be able to apply to become a sport that can compete in the Olympics. Although cheerleaders have been saying it all along, junior and cheer team member Caroline Bono is especially excited to potentially see cheerleading in the Olympic games in the upcoming years.

“I think it’s amazing how cheerleading is finally getting the recognition it deserves,” Bono said. “People don’t realize how much effort and endurance it takes.”

The banners hanging up in the gym for both cheer and dance were going to get a fresh face with a white background and purple letters instead of the traditional purple background and white letters that other sports received, prior to the IOC’s announcement. This new revelation, according to sophomore Savannah Childress, will hopefully allow all of their accomplishments to be displayed, similar to any other sport.

The IOC stated that a large part in recognizing cheerleading as a sport was the growing popularity and the focus that it can have on youth in schools and universities, according to the sports director of the committee Kit McConnell. Cheer Coach Lisa Lauck believes that this announcement will hopefully bring in new cheerleaders in the next couple of years.

“I think it will inspire new interest for sure,” Lauck said. “Perhaps an Olympics with cheerleading events [will] bring in a greater number of athletes.”

Although it is unlikely that cheerleading will make an appearance in the 2018 or 2020 Olympics due to the fact that these events are for the most part already planned, dates past those are in the hands of the cheer governing board. Until then, girls in middle school and beyond have a new goal to shoot for: performing in the Olympics.