A Brief History of Cheerleading

A Brief History of Cheerleading
Tom Gannam / AP

High Flying
Over time, the stunts and tricks that make up the cheerleading repertoire have grown increasingly elaborate and adventuresome, leading many to worry that the sport has become too dangerous. Concern peaked in 2006, when a Southern Illinois University cheerleader named Kristi Yamaoka fell from a human pyramid and fractured a vertebra. Though she was not the first to suffer a traumatic injury during cheerleading, she brought a national spotlight onto the problem because she continued to perform from her stretcher as she was being removed from the game.

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