Here's something to cheer about: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has voted to recognize cheerleading as a sport.
But before you get excited about a new sport you'll actually enjoy at the 2018 games, it doesn't necessarily mean we'll be seeing squads compete just yet. What it does mean, however, is that the governing body will get at least $20,000 each year from the committee, and will also be eligible to apply for additional grants.
This period of recognition lasts for three years, and at any point during this time, IOC execs can vote to fully recognize the sport. At that point, the ICU can petition to be included in the Games. If the petition is approved, cheerleading officially becomes an Olympic sport. Y E S to 2020!
This year, the committee voted to include several new sports—including skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing—in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, in the interest of appealing to younger audiences.
Tuesday's vote also saw combat sport Muay Thai voted as a recognized sport.
Kit McConnell, the International Olympic Committee's sports director, told the New York Times that it was the "high youth appeal" that helped persuade the vote.
Plenty will have their doubts about cheerleading being recognized as a sport, but it's a huge leap for the millions involved in the cheer community. As someone who spent three years cheerleading, I can attest that it takes strength, perseverance, and a lot of sweat—and every routine has to be performed with 100% enthusiasm.
Basically, anyone who can throw an adult female 10 feet in the air deserves a medal in my eyes—amiright?
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.