Winning the Gold-Cheer Athletics team wins Gold at the largest cheer competition

Alexis Sendejas, Staff Writer

Worlds.

Cheer teams from Australia, China, England and the United States competed for the world title at Disney World in Orlando in April. Teams spend months, sometimes years, practicing to be nominated for the exclusive competition. For Cheer Athletics cheerleader, senior Allison Norton, it is the cheer Olympics because it is the largest and most prestigious cheer competition.

“When you first walk in you are hit with so many different things,” Norton said. “You smell spray tans, glitter and hairspray. It’s so nice, because even though you are surrounded by competition, you are surrounded by people just like you.”

Norton and her team prepared for this competition by practicing at least two hours a day. Their routine included full out skills such as tumbling, stunts and a pyramid. The coach would drill every part of the routine until it was perfect.

“For the team that I was on, it was hard in the sense that you had to do your best, or you’d be changed to be an alternate,” Norton said. “I wanted to quit sometimes, but I knew that I could keep going. The only reason I wanted to quit at the time was because the girl I was paired with was rude to me, but I got over it and did my best for my team.”

Norton also focused on other things to prepare herself for her sixth Worlds Competition.  She said she also did her schoolwork, ate healthy and stayed focused on her main goal of being her personal best for her team.

“Staying focused was the best thing I could do for myself and the team,” Norton said. “I had to keep my eye on the goals and it paid off in the end, so I’m proud that I stayed committed.”

While at Worlds, Norton said she enjoyed herself for many reasons. The other cheerleaders there understood the hard work and dedication each person put into the competition. Members did not have to explain what trick or stunt they did in their routines, but instead were able to be judged by the best of the best.

“I love the atmosphere of the event,” Norton said. “Most of the teams stay in the resort next to each other so it’s almost like a massive cheer camp where you can meet people from different cities, states and countries. We trade shirts, pins, bows or whatever we want to. It’s a great place for cheerleaders to just be cheerleaders judged for their dedication.”

Norton said the injuries and sickness were worth what her team accomplished – her team won the Worlds title and received the highest score to ever be recorded in Worlds history. The team received a banner as well as two trophies and every member of the team received a ring in honor of their achievement.

“I was absolutely ecstatic of my team’s performance,” Norton said. “It was an amazing feeling to see the crowd cheering for us and the energy on the mat was indescribable. In that moment, we knew that our hard had work paid off and we got our team’s name down in history. I am so blessed to be a part of it all.”

Norton’s team dedicated their performance to another team located in Miami, Fla. because one of their athletes had passed away. Omar Moreno, the cheerleader who died, was then finally able to get the Worlds ring he had always wanted when Norton’s team won. All the coaches bought a ring to give to Omar’s family in honor of him.

Norton hopes others can see that cheerleading is a sport and recognize all of the hard work they do. She said Worlds does this for people around the world and is very blessed to have even participated in the competition.

“Cheerleading is a sport whether people choose to believe it or not,” Norton said. “We all know that it is, and that is what matters most. I’d like to see anyone try half of the things we do in cheer.”