Cheerleading Just Became An Official Olympic Sport

Hurrah!

Three cheers for the International Olympic Committee! The committee’s executive board voted on Dec. 6 to recognize cheerleading as a sport. YASSS!

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“Cheerleading is a sport with growing popularity,” the IOC sports director Kit McConnell said. “It has a strong youth focus and we noted that.”

However, cheerleaders won’t be tossed into the air at an upcoming Olympics game juuuuust yet. The IOC’s recognition means the International Cheer Union will receive $25,000 annually in grant funding for the next three years — which is how long its recognition period will last with the IOC. During this time, not only can the IOC vote to fully recognize the sport, but also the Cheer Union can apply for additional grants and funding. After three years, the Cheer Union can then petition to be included — finally — as an official Olympic sport!

This lengthy process is actually normal. Becoming part of the Olympic Games can take as long as seven years (although host cities are allowed to include different sports of their choice for a one-time-only appearance).

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Cheerleading is just the latest entry of new sports that are joining the Games. Golf and rugby just joined the Olympic roster in 2016, while skateboarding, surfing, and karate are among the six new sports that will appear at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

We can’t wait to see cheerleading receive the recognition it deserves (LBH: how many people can actually do those freakin’ awesome pyramids and flips?). In the meantime, we’ll be watching Bring It On pretty much non-stop.