Remember all those times you said cheerleading wasn’t a sport? Well in your face because the International Olympic Committee’s executive board just voted to recognize cheerleading as a sport. According to the New York Times, cheerleading and the combat sport muay thai were given provisional olympic status.
Unfortunately this doesn’t necessarily mean you can expect to see cheerleaders at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea or even the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Basically the IOC’s recognition means that cheerleading’s governing body, the International Cheer Union, will receive at least $25,000 every year along with the opportunity to apply for additional grants. This period of recognition lasts for three years, and at any point during this time, IOC execs can vote to fully recognize the sport. Then the ICU can petition to be included in the Games. If the petition is approved, cheerleading officially becomes an Olympic sport.
If you’re one of the people still laughing at the thought of cheerleading being a sport, you probably haven’t watched some of the extreme cheerleading competitions. It’s more than just shouting stuff and giving people dirty looks. It’s intense! Here watch! Here’s an instance where the team still won the National Cheerleading competition even though their music was cut off during their routine. Was it the result of some mean girls shit? Who knows.
More than just skirts and sass…
Also if you think is ridiculous, please note that tug of war used to be an olympic sport… yup. And golf and rugby just joined the roster in 2016. And this year, the IOC voted to add several sports, including surfing and skateboarding to to 2020 games in an attempt to appeal to younger audiences.
It’s for the kiddos
In other words, the olympics are getting played out and the IOC is trying to spice it up. So go with it.