Little River gym reacts to cheerleading being added as an Olympic sport

Grand Strand

LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (WBTW)– Cheerleading is now recognized by the International Olympic Committee as an Olympic sport.

After years of working towards this recognition, Cindy Cumbo, founder of Myrtle Beach Allstars, said it may take a while to break the stereotypical mold that comes along with the sport.

“There’s a lot of hours that people don’t even know goes on behind the scenes,” she said.

From flips, to twists, and hours of practice. Cumbo said it’ll be a while until people realize how much work goes into the sport.

“You still have the stereotypical movies like ‘Bring it On,’ and I think that’s been the world’s [perception] for a really long time,” she said.

With more than 30 years in the industry, she said the recognition from the IOC is well overdue, and now it’s time others recognize the skill, too.

“It’s not just about putting on a pretty uniform, it’s athleticism, drive, and teamwork is huge,” Cumbo said.

And with each athlete playing a key role, if one is missing, she said it affects the rest of the group.

“It’s not like football or baseball when you need substitutions,” she said. “There are none, so every single person has an integral part on the stage.”

While the sport is currently in the works to make its debut in the 2028 Summer Olympics, Cumbo said the thought of having one of her own students compete is exciting.

“Just to think that you would ever have an athlete that would be in the Olympics is amazing.,” she said. “Just sewing into any child’s life is incredible.”

Aside from all of the conditioning and hours of practice that goes into cheerleading, Cumbo said it may be hard work, but it’s fun. And being able to coach the now-Olympic sport, she said, is inspiring.

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