Well it's about damn time. At their annual meeting in Chicago this weekend, the American Medical Association joined the American Academy of Pediatrics in deciding that cheerleading should be considered a sport due to it's "rigors and risks." According to research published in the Journal of Pediatrics, cheerleading is "by far" the sport that causes the most catastrophic injuries for females in the US.
While some continue to argue that cheerleading isn't a real sport (this record-breaking lady would like to argue otherwise), it's not really a matter of opinion so much as it is regulation. Via USA Today:
The new policy means the AMA supports having appropriate accrediting bodies declare cheerleading a sport, and supports better safety measures including avoiding inappropriate surfaces when performing flips and other stunts and following rules for properly performing stunts.
I think we can take a moment to separate cheerleading as an aspect of culture (and as a culture in itself) from cheerleading as a sport for just enough time to ensure that it receives the same safety and regulations as other less dangerous NCAA activities.
Image via AP.