Monday, February 6, 2017

IOC Awards Cheerleading Provisional Sport Status

Kristin Kinkel attended Hawaii Pacific University on a full cheerleading scholarship and graduated in 1999. Since then, Kristin Kinkel has worked as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers Stunt Team and organized competitions and camps for Varsity Spirit Corporation. 

With roots as a spirit squad for early collegiate football teams in the United States, cheerleading has been gaining momentum as an official sport in recent years. In December of 2016, the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) executive board made it clear: cheerleading is a sport. 

The decision doesn't necessarily mean that cheerleading will eventually be added as an Olympic sport, though it does allow the International Cheer Union (ICU), the governing body of the sport, to petition to be included in the Olympic program as early as 2024. The IOC will also grant $25,000 annually to the ICU for the next three years.

Founded in 2004, the ICU has been working toward provisional sport status since 2010. It has 110 national federation members, 70 of which were represented at the most recent World Cheerleading Championships.