Cheerleading Ranks in Top Three Most Dangerous Sports

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Cheerleading Ranks in Top Three Most Dangerous Sports

Preslie Bentley, writer

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According to many peers and other athletes, cheerleaders are basically just “pretty girls.” Cheerleaders come across as girls in super short skirts with big bows tied to their hair that jump and cheer on the sideline. Those people rarely, if ever, see cheerleading as what it really is, one of the most dangerous sports.

Due to landing wrong in jumps or tumbling, falling straight to the floor from the top of powerful stunts or putting too much pressure on your body, cheerleading ranks the third most dangerous sport according to The Top Tens. Unlike football, cheerleading does not provide any kind of padding or helmets to keep athletes from injuring themselves or their teammates. This competitive  sport causes high risks to the athlete’s physical and mental health.

“About five to ten cheerleaders get hurt every year, at least,” varsity cheer sponsor Heather Blythe said. “The most common injuries we have are concussions or broken bones. There are not many sprains because they usually just end up with broken bones instead.”

Cheerleading is said to be more dangerous than football because of how the cheerleaders throw people in the air and the flyer (the person thrown) completely depends on the bases to catch her as she comes down.

“In a basket, I got dropped on my head and was out for about a week,” sophomore Caroline Gleason said. “That day, I forgot everything that happened during that cheer period and a couple of hours after that.”

The long term effects of a concussion include memory problems, irritability, personality changes, sensitivity to light and/or sound and also sleep disturbance. Cheerleaders often must end their careers because of serious injuries caused personally or by teammates.

“The number of cheerleaders treated at hospital accidents and emergency wards increased from under 5,000 a year in 1980 to nearly 30,000 a year today,” a news site The Telegraph said.

Jessica Smith, a cheerleader at Sacramento City College, crashed to the ground and fractured her back and neck during practice trying a new stunt with her group. Most recently, Lauren Chang died in a cheerleading competition in Worcester Massachusetts, due to an extreme hard kick in the chest. The lives of these athletes lay fully in the hands of their peers because this sport cannot be achieved without the support and trust of the team.

“I get offended whenever people say it’s not a sport because a lot of hard work and time goes into this,” junior Sterling Flowers said.

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