Well, it looks like the sports world is starting to take note of the serious nature of cheerleading: The Olympics have officially recognized cheerleading as a sport. FINALLY! Take that, haters!
Anyone who was a cheerleader in high school—or anyone who has seen Bring It On—knows how serious of a sport cheerleading is. It takes incredible strength and coordination to execute the lifts, twirls, and dance moves that cheerleaders perform on football fields and basketball courts across the country.
But of course, sexism has pushed a lot of negative stereotypes towards these athletes, moving to discredit any kind of recognition that they would otherwise be getting.
That’s why it such a big deal that The International Olympic Committee’s executive board voted to officially recognize cheerleading as a sport—but there’s a catch.
The official recognition doesn’t mean that cheerleading will become a sport at the Olympics, but rather that cheerleading’s governing body (the International Cheer Union) will be able to receive more funding to better support its athletes.
This also means that the cheerleading governing board can petition to have cheerleading become an official Olympic sport in the future, so all hope isn’t lost on that front.
The ICU’s sports director, Kit McConnell, said that the sport’s “high youth appeal” was a strong factor in the Committee’s decision to recognize cheerleading. But whatever the factors, it’s high time that cheerleading was officially recognized for the sport that it is.
This article originally appeared on HelloGiggles.com.