Cheerleading Earns Full Recognition By International Olympic Committee

MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Varsity Spirit is thrilled to recognize today as a pivotal day in cheerleading history. Earlier this morning, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), at the 138th IOC Session held in Tokyo, Japan, voted in favor of granting full IOC recognition to the International Cheer Union (ICU) and cheerleading. The ICU, located in the United States, is the world governing body of cheer and has been hosting the ICU World Championship and Continental Championships since 2009.

The IOC’s vote means that the ICU can now petition to have cheerleading included in the Olympic Games.

“This is a great day for cheerleaders and cheerleading in the United States and around the world.  We are incredibly proud to have played a part in helping develop cheerleading into the athletic activity it is today,” said Bill Seely, President of Varsity Spirit. “IOC recognition likely will mean greater development support and funding for cheerleading which is a huge win for cheer. Special thanks are owed to Jeff Webb, President of the ICU, and Karl Olson, Secretary General for the ICU. Without their hard work and dedication, this day would never have happened.”  

About Varsity Spirit
Memphis-based Varsity Spirit, a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today, is the leading global source for all things spirit, including cheerleading, dance team and performing arts. Focused on safety, entertainment and traditional school leadership, Varsity Spirit’s employees have been dedicated to celebrating spirit through its brands since 1974. A division of Varsity Brands, Varsity Spirit also is a leader in uniform innovation, as well as educational camps, clinics and competitions, impacting more than a million athletes each year. For more information about Varsity Spirit or Varsity Brands, please visit or

Emily Zemlachenko
Varsity Spirit
[email protected]


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