Will we see cheerleading at the Olympic games in Tokyo 2020? We hope so! It's a pivotal time in cheerleading history when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted in favor of including cheerleading among the provisional Olympic sports.
The ICU (International Cheerleading Union), located in the U.S., is the governing body for international cheer and has been hosting the ICU World Championship for years. The organization published an official press release:
Jeff Webb, father of modern day cheerleading and President of the International Cheer Union made this statement:
The IOC's actions have created a monumental milestone for cheerleading. We are truly honored to receive this recognition by the Executive Board of the IOC. This decision will greatly assist us as we strive to create opportunities for healthy participation and competition for millions of Cheer athletes worldwide.
Milestone indeed! But what exactly does 'provisional status' mean? Provisional sport status allows organizations to receive funding and special grants for a 3-year period. During this time cheerleading can also petition to be fully included in the Olympic Games. Sixteen sports total applied for provisional status and muaythai along with cheer was also accepted, taking the number of recognized olympic sports from 35 to 37.
It's going to be an exciting year for cheerleaders around the world. Stay tuned, and if you've got your sights set on a gold medal - you better get in the gym!