It turns out that competitive cheer really is hardcore. According to a new report, 66 percent of "catastrophic" sports-related injuries among women—the kind that cause permanent disability or medical conditions—are the result of bringing it on.
Statistics published in the Journal of Pediatrics reveal that cheerleading is "by far" the sport that causes the greatest amount of serious injuries for females in the U.S. Since 1980, ER visits for wounded cheerleaders have more than quintupled, going from about 5,000 to over 26,000 in 2007. According to the data, the majority of the injuries happen to those who serve as the bases (the ones who prop up and catch teammates) rather than the fliers (the ones who get flung in the air).
The weirdest sentence of the entire report:
At the moment 29 US states recognize cheerleading as a sport.
Apparently there's a push for more states to recognize cheerleading as a sport so that there's more regulation and qualified coaches in order to reduce the amount of serious injuries. Still, that's about twice as many states than those that recognize gay marriage, so that's something to shake a pompom at.