ICU Hosts First Ever Pan-American Cheerleading Championship!

The International Cheer Union (ICU) hosted the first ever Pan-American Cheerleading Championship on November 11, 2017 in Cali, Colombia. USA Cheer took part in the inaugural competition and was represented by both a cheer and pom team from Hofstra University.

The university was a perfect fit to represent the U.S. at the first Pan-American Championship due to their long history of championship excellence and having multiple athletes who were previously members of the U.S. national teams.

USA's Coed Premier team was made up of members from Hofstra who cheered at the university from 2005 to present and six athletes who were on previous U.S. national teams at the ICU World Championship.

Hofstra Cheer has won UCA College Nationals in the small coed division 10 times (2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016). The team also competed internationally in the European Open Championship in 2011 in Paris.

Hofstra Pom Team represented the U.S. national team in 2016, winning gold at the ICU World Championship, and also won UDA College Nationals three times in the Dl hip-hop division and two times in the Dl pom division.

At the Pan American Championship, USA's Pom Team competed in the Performance Cheer-Freestyle Pom division. The squad beat out top contender Team Colombia to take the gold. Many members of the pom team represented the U.S. previously on the U.S. national pom team in 2016.

USA's Coed Premier team hit an incredible routine at the championship that incorporated a mix of coed and all girl skills. The squad executed back handspring full ups and pike open double baskets to earn USA Cheer the gold.

The Pan American Championship mirrored its competition to the ICU Worlds Championship as it included an opening ceremony with a presentation of countries and flags, an athlete oath, and an official oath. Some of the top countries who competed at the event included the USA, Argentina, Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, and Peru.

The U.S. national teams only had four practices to perfect their routine before heading to Colombia and competing on Veteran's Day. Three-time ICU World Champion and Hofstra Cheer alumni Kaitlyn Sexton was one of the athletes representing the U.S. in Colombia this past weekend, and was excited to represent the red, white, and blue on an American holiday.

This championship was especially rewarding because of the event timing. Not only was it an incredible honor to be chosen to represent the USA at an intercontinental event that's the first of its kind, but the championship fell on Veterans Day weekend, encouraging all the participants/athletes to have an increased amount of pride for our country and our mission in Colombia.

The hosting of the first-ever Pan-American Championship is a huge milestone for the sport of cheerleading on it's journey to become a fully recognized Olympic sport. Congratulations to all the countries and teams who were honored to attend!

Can't get enough USA Cheer? Watch USA Coed: Going For Gold!

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