Nothing Says The Olympics Like 200,000 Cheerleaders

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So I happened to stumble across an article at Yahoo News on the 200,000 cheerleaders that are being put together for the Beijing Olympics (and some will be dancers and acrobats for a select squad of 400) and I had a plethora of thoughts including the following:

  • Cheerleaders with nunchucks? You don't see that in the NBA.
  • That's some really frizzy blond hair.
  • I wonder a little bit about the Elite 400 - was someone afraid that the other 199,600 other cheerleaders wouldn't be able to get the job done?
  • When I read quotes like "Everyone knows cheerleading is a Western activity, but we hope we can find a Chinese way to do it [and] show the world," says He He, who sports long, dyed-red hair and a sparkly belly-button ring. and "They're a lot like Americans -- they use pompoms, they do flips," says 20-year-old Patriot dancer Corie Mae Callaluca, every bit the picture of the stereotypical cheerleader with long blonde hair and blue eyes. -- I think to myself that this is pretty cool, because in a lot of ways people think of the cheerleader, an All-American Girl archetype, as mostly being blond and blue-eyed -- not really Asian. So showing the world that Asian women can cheer with the best of them can be a good thing, and maybe in some ways (especially here in the U.S.) it can help re-define what an All-American really is on some level (even if you think in a superficial way).
  • I could really be grasping for straws on that last point but just go with it for now.
  • Just an FYI that the majority of the 200,000 cheerleaders are retired civil servants and have never shaken a pom pom in their life - and it's not just women - it's dudes too.
  • Men have the right to be a part of the Cheerocracy.
And because you wanted to know more - I'll give it to you here, here, and here.