While watching the delayed broadcast of the 2012 Olympics on NBC, you may have noticed cheerleaders off to the side, doing high kicks and waving neon pom-poms. Now this wouldn’t be surprising if it were two NFL teams were competing on the field, but this is the Olympics, where events include table tennis, fencing, and race walking. Although these events don’t exactly call for cheerleaders, there is still a distinct possibility that a brigade of hypewomen will be throwing down a routine close by.
This begs the question: Why are there cheerleaders in the first place? Well, you see, cheerleaders have been a staple at the Olympics for years. There were cheerleaders in Beijing, and even in Atlanta. However, the only differences between then and now are the number of cheerleaders and the round-the-clock coverage.
This year in London, we are seeing and spike in cheerleaders courtesy of Ascension Eagles, a British cheer program that doubles as a charity. With four teams of 16, they are dedicated to covering as many events as possible—except for USA Men’s Basketball, who are supposedly flying in eight men and eight women to cheer them to victory. Way to go, guys.