Cheerleading isn't an Olympic sport – Yet. But cheerleaders from the University of Kentucky arrived in South Korea this weekened to represent the United States and cheer on Team USA at the PyeongChang Games.
Cheerleading currently holds provisional status under the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and supporters are hoping for an Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. To promote the sport, several countries sent cheering squads to the PyeongChang Games. Last November, USA Cheer, the governing body for cheerleading in the U.S., chose the University of Kentucky to represent them at the Olympics.
Just weeks after claiming their 23rd national championship, University of Kentucky’s elite “Blue Squad” flew to Seoul and performed at the U.S. military base there. At the Games, the cheerleaders will perform and appear at medal ceremonies, the Closing Ceremony and various Olympic venues. There will also be a cheerleading exhibition against squads from countries around the world like Canada, Norway and Germany.
Other new events to look forward to at the 2020 Games include karate, skateboard and surfing (among others).
The University of Kentucky’s dominant cheer program has won three consecutive national titles since 2016 while also performing at athletic events and making appearances around the area. An international-level showcase is nothing new for the squad, which performed in the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 World Equestrian Games held in Lexington, Kentucky – but there’s nothing quite like the Olympic stage.