SO-Cheerleaders travels to the World Winter Games in Austria
SO CHEER began as an idea at the Closing Ceremonies of the Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece in 2011. The program consists of a number of Special Olympics and Independent cheer teams - cheerleaders with and without intellectual disabilities - across the United States.
The first cheer program kicked off in the Summer of 2015 at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. There were 17 cheer squads consisting of 225 young women and men cheerleaders from eight states. The athletes competing in different sporting events were thrilled beyond measure to have this special group of spirit leaders come cheer for them and their team. Adding cheerleaders to the World Games united the fans and the athletes igniting an energy full of enthusiasm that will be remembered for a lifetime.
To keep the momentum alive, SO CHEER will have one team of 10 cheerleaders with and without intellectual differences voluntarily traveling in March 2017 to the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. The cheerleaders will bring their magnetic joy half-way around the world to cheer on athletes competing in Floor Hockey, Floor Ball, Stick Shooting, Speed Skating, and Snowboarding.
A local Austrian cheer team - YES! there is cheerleading in Austria - the Graz Giants Cheerleaders will join SO CHEER at some of the sports competitions and cheer on the athletes. They also perform at the closing ceremony.
SO CHEER is independently operated by volunteers. All cheer teams involved with this program cover their own costs and fundraising. There is no financial support from Special Olympics.