The International Cheer Union has received provisional recognition from the International Olympic Committee.
The ICU will receive $25,000 to fund training the future cheerleading cohorts. They will have the next three year recognition period to apply for additional grants and funds. Then they can apply for full inclusion in the official Olympic games.
“Cheerleading is a sport with growing popularity. It has strong youth focus,” said IOC sports director, Kit McConnell to the BBC.
Steph Malfatti, the Dragons Cheer captain at the University of Westminster in London says, “it shouldn’t even be a question of whether it’s a sport.” Miss Malfatti who is on one of England’s national cheer teams goes on to say, “More than 10 countries have national teams that compete at a level most non-cheerleaders couldn’t even imagine.”
While there are always naysayers…
….the response to the news has been largely positive.
While it can take up to seven years for a new sport to be part of the official games, host cities can debut sports of their choice. Cheerleading isn’t the only new sport to be recognized. Muay Thai kickboxing has also received the $25,000 yearly funding from the IOC to join the Olympic games.