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Medical Association Declares Cheerleading a Sport

The American Medical Association has decided cheerleading should be considered a sport due to its rigors and risks.
The American Medical Association has decided cheerleading should be considered a sport due to its rigors and risks.

The competitive cheerleaders at Pittsburgh Superstars say they're excited their passion is finally being recognized as a sport.

"I think people will finally have a little more respect for us and not look at us as just how we're shown in movies and tv shows," says Kristen Swales, a competitive cheerleader.

Swales and her teammates say their sport is just as physically demanding as any other top sport.  The AMA agrees, which is the reason they decided to recognized cheerleading as a sport.

"We're throwing ourselves in the air and we're throwing other girls in the air," says Maddie Martin, a cheerleader who is also on the squad.

"It's very intensive," says Swales.  "We condition. We have to get our bodies ready for two minutes and thirty seconds of straight activity."

"We don't have a half time," adds Martin.  "We don't have a time out to rally ourselves. This is it.  You have one chance.  It's over really quickly.  Like you have one second to decide if you're going to do it or not."

A local coach says she's excited to see where this decision takes the sport in the future.

"It really speaks to the seriousness of what can happen in cheerleading if coaches aren't trained correctly and if athletes aren't given proper care," says Danielle Boyd, the head coach for the State College Area Cheer Program.


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