Cheerleading Could Become An Olympic Sport In 2024

Just don’t call them “spirit squads”

Team USA at the 2016 World Cheerleading Championship. (Image via International Cheer Union)

On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee granted provisional recognition to competitive cheerleading, which allows the International Cheer Union to receive IOC funding and developmental support. The announcement also puts cheerleading in the running for inclusion at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

“It is a sport with growing popularity, a strong youth focus in schools and universities, and we noted that,” IOC sports director Kit McConnell told the Associated Press.

The ICU, which encompasses over 4.5 million athletes and national federations from 110 countries, oversees several types of competitive cheer, including club, school, and all-star divisions. All-star cheer, which consists of private teams devoted to competition rather than sideline spirit, has grown rapidly in American over the last two decades and is now a multibillion dollar industry.

These are the high-flying stage routines you’ve seen on YouTube—controlled rhythmic chaos, interspersed with backflips, back handsprings, complicated chants—with girls being launched into the rafters.

Also on Tuesday, the IOC also awarded provisional membership to Muaythai kickboxing. After three years, the IOC can vote whether to add either sport to the official Olympic program.

Screenshot via (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less