Cheerleading: Not Only a Sport, an Olympic Sport

Cheerleading: Not Only a Sport, an Olympic Sport

Mack Haymond, Staff Writer

There are a few sports where it’s debated whether or not they are actually sports. Some of them are more controversial than others, but all of them generate intense debate. The most common ones that people think of are skiing and gymnastics, to mention a few.

However, the sport that has the most people debating is none other than cheerleading.

Today, I’d like to explain to you exactly why cheerleading is a sport, and what led so many to see it as not.

According to The Oxford Dictionary a sportis an activity involving physical exertion in which two or more parties compete to win something.

There have been a few other definitions floating around that don’t require competition, but this one makes the most sense, being that a sport without competition is just an activity: think playing baseball compared to running around the bases over and over again. Knowing this, it’s clear how cheerleading is a sport. At least once you think about it.

Most people’s minds go immediately to the group on the sidelines of the football game when cheerleading is brought up. Many aren’t aware that there is a rather large community behind competitive cheerleading.

Spearheaded by the National Cheerleading Association (or NCA for short), countless competitions are held around the U.S. where cheer teams compete to perform the best routine involving countless acrobatic and gymnastic skills.

When given this context, it’s clear to see how cheerleading is a sport. In fact, I’ll go a step further. It should be an Olympic sport.

I mean, synchronized swimming is, right? That’s just teams of people putting together a routine to be scored by judges, nearly identical to the model of competitive cheerleading, other than the fact that the former is in the water.

There are plenty of classic sports that come to mind when the word sport comes up: baseball, football, basketball, soccer, hockey, the list goes on. However, there are countless other activities that are also perfectly real sports, if you stop to think about it. I like to use this guide: does it A) involve physical exertion and B) involve competition?

If so, you have yourself what you can call, with confidence, a sport.