MILWAUKEE – For many people, cheerleading is synonymous with playing basketball or soccer. But the cheering athletes want the sport to be recognized as a sport in its own right, and that includes the chance to compete on the Olympic stage.
Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee gave the International Cheer Union the full recognition that will bring cheerleaders one step closer to their Olympic dreams.
The International Cheer Union has yet to file an application for the sport to be included in the Olympic Games. But that could be the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
“The work they put into it and the hours in the gym are paying off on the world stage,” said Emily Bauman, head coach at UW Milwaukee Cheer.
Bauman has been training Jubel for over a decade and has been the UWM coach for the past five years.
She said that people don’t always recognize the athleticism of cheerleading and that the sport has its own competitions that are separate from appearances at other sporting events.
“It’s a lot more than the U-Rah-Rah that is associated with cheerleading. There are elements of tumbling, that’s a lot of gymnastics. There are elements of acro, so you build on each other and get individuals in the air.” said Bauman of Sports.
Although it is unclear what cheerleading would look like at the Olympics, recognition by the International Olympic Committee is the first step in making Olympic dreams come true.
While you won’t see cheerleading in Tokyo this year, several other sports are making their first appearance at the Olympics this year, including karate, skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing.
See all of our Olympic coverage at TMJ4.com/Olympics
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