Time to Shine

February 16, 2012
We turn on the television and see the news filled with sports teams making it to the Olympics. Have you ever stopped and thought about what it takes for a sport to even be considered for the Olympic games. In order to be included in the Olympics, it must be practiced by men in at least 75 countries and four continents, and by women in at least 40 countries and three continents. The sport in question must have an International Federation to be recognized as a sport. The government has to then file an application to become a sport, and another one after that to become a full Olympic sport.

Cheerleading is a sport that meets all of the criteria. Countries across the world take part in it, and it is definitely entertaining to watch. Part of cheerleading is stunting, which is lifting another person up into the air, and they have to perform different body positions up there. Much strength and conditioning is needed to perform such tasks. Whether holding the person up, or being tossed into the air and doing crazy tricks, the job is incredibly difficult. A cheerleader has to be able to base someone who is equal or more than their own bodyweight. To achieve this, practices are filled with challenging work outs.

Another huge part of cheerleading is the perfection. In competitions, every stunt has to hit, there must be a smile on everyone’s face, and the team has to excel in jumps and tumbling. If there are any mistakes, a deduction is taken from the score. Teams have to practice every day so that they can go to competitions and look their best. If not, then the judges will be taking many points away.

Cheerleading is an anaerobic activity. For the entire routine, you don’t have a break to catch your breath. It takes the human body precisely 26 seconds at the least, to recover completely from exercise. In a cheerleading routine, you don’t have those precious moments to take for yourself. Once you finish one stunt, then it’s off to the next section of the routine. You have to transition quick, or points are taken off by the judges.

Humans are not meant to be thrown in the air, or to be twisting and flipping around the air. Physically, a cheerleader has to undergo much training to be able to attempt these unnatural occurrences. There is also a huge risk of injury because cheerleading is highly dangerous. According to the Top Ten’s list of the most dangerous sports in the world, cheerleading is the number one most dangerous sport. People have died from it, just because one little thing went wrong.

Cheerleading needs to be recognized for its difficulty and entertainment value. The skills cheerleaders perform could be deadly, but need to be performed with a smile or no points are received. It takes a lot of effort to be on a cheerleading team, and it’s time the Olympic games honored this sport. It deserves a great deal of respect due to the fact that it is so fascinating, but yet so hard to attempt at the same time. Cheerleading will have its time to shine soon, and it will take over the Olympics when it does.

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