Memphis, Tenn., December 09, 2016 – USA Cheer, the national governing body for Cheer in the U.S., applauds the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) provisional recognition of cheerleading and its international governing body, the International Cheer Union (ICU). This provisional recognition means the ICU will be able to petition the IOC for inclusion in future Olympic Games after the initial three year provisional time period has concluded.

“We are proud of the growth of cheerleading from its beginnings here in the United States to its current global popularity,” says Bill Seely, President of USA Cheer. “This news is an affirmation of the athleticism and talent of cheerleaders, and we are pleased to see these athletes recognized internationally. ICU President Jeff Webb and Secretary General Karl Olson have worked tirelessly over the past six years to have Cheer and the ICU accepted by the IOC.”

USA Cheer selects and sponsors the U.S. National Team at the annual ICU World Championships. Since 2009, the U.S. has accumulated 20 gold medals.

“Cheerleading is a unique activity, and we are excited about the possibility of it one day being included in the Olympics,” adds Seely. “Young cheer athletes around the world will be the primary beneficiaries of this new status.”

To clarify how cheerleading is recognized in the U.S., USA Cheer has released a position paper that addresses Title IX and the distinct disciplines of Cheer domestically. These disciplines include Traditional Cheerleading (schools and colleges), Club or “All Star” Cheer, and STUNT. Since 1972, all interscholastic and intercollegiate sports must also meet certain legal standards to qualify as an actual sport under Title IX set by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). USA Cheer worked with Title IX experts to develop STUNT, the only Cheer discipline offered in schools that is designed to meet the OCR legal sport requirements for Title IX. Read the full position paper here.

For more information about USA Cheer, please contact Sheila Noone, media@usacheer.net.