Bullitt Co. cheer team hopes to bring cheerleading to 2020 Olympics

Published: Feb. 9, 2017 at 9:17 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2017 at 10:21 PM EST
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Lauren Debold (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)
Lauren Debold (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)
Brittany Burton (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)
Brittany Burton (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)
Jay Kirk (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)
Jay Kirk (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)
Kristal Stillwell (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)
Kristal Stillwell (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Eastside Middle School cheer team in Mt. Washington is going to be busy over the next couple of months. They're heading to Orlando for a big competition, but this team is hoping their performance will have an even greater impact for the sport of cheerleading.
The cheerleaders recently learned they were chosen to take part in the Junior World Cheerleading Championships and World Cheerleading Championships in Orlando.

"He (the coach) told us about it. I was like crying. Screaming," said Lauren Debold, an 8th grade member of the squad.

"It's a big deal," said Brittany Burton, a fellow 8th grader, "and I'm very excited for it.

It's a big deal because the competition these ladies will perform in will have a lot of eyes. The International Cheer Union is trying to prove to the International Olympic Committee that cheerleading should be an Olympic sport. They are doing that through events like the one in Orlando over the next three years. Cheerleading was recently given provisional status which is the first step.

Butler Traditional High School cheerleaders are also headed to Orlando for the same competition.

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"Hopefully within the next four to six years we can have cheerleading to be a part of the Olympics which is what we've been shooting for," said Jay Kirk, choreographer and coach of Eastside Cheer Team.

Eastside cheerleaders were chosen because in 2016 they were the state, national, and world champions.

"They deserve it. And deserve to be recognized in the community," said Kristal Stillwell, another Eastside Cheer Team coach.

They hope the flips they do will help put their sport onto the biggest worldwide stage for athletes.

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"To be recognized on the Olympic level would be one of the greatest successes," Kirk said.

This process isn't along far enough for cheerleading to be part of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. However, skateboarding, surfing, and karate are among the six new sports that will appear at the Tokyo Games.
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