Reports of the rise in China’s cheerleading prowess have been circulating for a while, but now it’s official – Western-style cheerleading is coming to the Beijing Olympics. No, not as a medal sport itself, despite the efforts of Beijing’s hardworking ”Olympic Sport Demonstration Cheerleading Volunteer Performance Demonstration Team.” But just as leaders of cheers, continuing the recent trend.
For example, check out this scene from 2004, when cheerleaders in Salt Lake City had a decidedly non-NCAA, “pro” look. (Oops, too many of you clicked over and wore out that link, try this instead) And in 2006, spectators in Turin, Italy saw moonbooted cheerleaders who looked like this.
Now, last year, people thought the 2008 Olympic cheerleaders would appear like this, or like these athletes in Beijing from a recent photo:
From Micah Sittig’s Flickrstream
However, it now appears that BOCOG has selected uniforms like this for the 585 cheerleaders. That’s right, they’re in blue jeans. But hey, do you notice somebody in the background, behind the “lion-like character” Dongdong?
Isn’t that Jin Jing, everybody’s favorite torchbearing “angel in a wheelchair”? The very same Jin Jing who followed orders from the Sacred Flame Protection Squad to not give away her torch to anybody, and the very same sentinent adult who claims she never heard of the Tibet independence movement until participating in the torch relay? Signs point to yes.
And hey, speaking of torchbearers in wheelchairs, what about this guy, Andrew Michael, from this bit: Chinese Paramilitary Police Operating on the Streets of San Francisco. Shouldn’t he be famous too?
His actions on the streets of San Francisco are something to think about when you’re rah-rahing next month.