The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ruled Tuesday recognizing cheerleading as a sport. The sport is granted $25,000 in annual funding according to a report by New York Times.
In a separate report from BBC, IOC sports director Kit McConnel remarked that "cheerleading is a sport with growing popularity". She added that the sports primarily appeals to the youth and with many young athletes joining a club.
There are 4.5 million registered cheerleaders to date, according to the International Cheer Union. There are also 100 national teams. The group participating are usually being judged based on their stunts, dances, tumbles, pyramids and chants.
As a sport, cheerleading will be put in a "recognition" sport, or like a probationary period. During this time, they can ask for additional funds. After three years, they can apply from IOC to make cheerleading an Olympic sport.
This means that cheerleading will be far from making a debut in summer Olympics. But at least it's the start. It can be recalled that it was only during this year in Rio where golf and rugby made their first Olympics appearance. Karate, skateboarding, and surfing are expected to appear in 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Cheerleading has evolved through time. From a lot of yelling with sideline leaps and chants, the sport that started in the US is now recognized elsewhere. Historians put it that the sport started with Johnny Campbell shouting for Gophers representing Minnesota in 1898. His cheer was "Rah, rah, rah! Ski-u-mah! Hoo-rah! Hoo-rah! Varsity! Varsity! Minn-e-so-tah!"
Before, cheerleading is male-dominated. In fact, the sports signature move- Herkie jump- was invented by Lawrence R. Herkimer in 1948.
The sports is well-received in many places as energetic and morale-boosting. However, its technical aspects are difficult to execute and dangerous. In fact, one report from Jobs & Hire recounted how a cheerleader narrowly escapes a serious injury after falling from a routine.