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The 3 most monumental moments in cheerleading

By Nadia Kearl on February 14, 2023

Often referred to as simply “cheer” cheerleading is one of the fastest-growing competitive sports in Canada and one of the most popular sports for girls to do in America. This sport has more history than others might think; here’s a look at the three most monumental moments that happened in cheerleading.

  1. The introduction of girls

Believe it or not, cheerleading was actually a boy-only activity originally. From its first performance being from Princeton University at a football game between them and Rutgers University in 1869, it’s a wonder how cheerleading got to where it is now. The year girls were finally allowed onto cheer teams was 1923, which is when they added more acrobatics in favour of replacing verbal cheering. The real surge of women in cheerleading started in the 40s when all the men went off to war, and it has since remained a female-dominated sport.

2. The commencement of All Star competitive cheerleading

While the term “cheerleading” originates from the 1860s, All-Star cheerleading has only been around for a few decades. The switch from merely chanting and doing kicks on the sidelines for sports teams, to competing against other teams by throwing people in the air and doing the tumbling that gymnasts do, is what motivated the founding of the U.S. All Star Federation (USASF) in 2003. The USASF is the governing body for All Star cheerleading, and once it was established, there was no stopping the rise of competitive cheerleading.

3. The recognization of cheerleading as a competitive sport

A moment every cheerleader across the world waited for, was the recognition of cheerleading as being an Olympic sport. As a young cheerleader growing up, it isn’t uncommon to hear the words “cheer isn’t a sport,” but as of July 20th, 2021, these comments became easier to snuff. On that very day, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) “voted in favor of granting full recognition to the International Cheer Union (ICU) and cheerleading, making one of America’s oldest examples of teamwork eligible to apply to be included on the Olympics program.”



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