University of Kentucky cheerleading squad
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The University of Kentucky cheerleading squad is one of the most successful collegiate cheerleading programs in the world. Representing the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, the UK squad has won the Universal Cheerleaders Association National College Cheerleading Championship an unprecedented twenty-four times, in 1985, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, more than any other Division 1A school. The University of Kentucky cheer squad is without question the best college cheer squad in the world.
UK's squad is the only team to win back to back championships twice, once in 1987 and 1988 and again in 1995 and 1996. Further, UK is the only squad ever to win three, four, five, six, seven, and eight championships in a row. UK's eight-year streak of championships was broken in 2003 when they finished runner up to the University of Central Florida. They regained the title in January, 2004 and won their third straight in 2006. The University of Central Florida regained the championship in 2007 when UK finished in third place. But the next year, UK came home with their 16th title. The University of Alabama broke Kentucky's win streak in 2011. But the next year, UK came home with their 19th title. In 2013, The University of Memphis defeated UK. For the first time in cheerleading history, UK did not repeat their title. UK's most recent victory was in 2019. By winning in 2018 this is the first three peat since the 2008-2010 three peat.
The UK Cheer Program is recognized in cheerleading circles as perhaps the finest cheer program in America as the squad has placed first 24 times and placed second six times in the National Championships. The squad also generates vocal support and significant enthusiasm for some of the finest athletic programs in the nation. The Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team is the winningest college basketball program in the nation and has won the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship eight times, currently coached by the well known John Calipari. In January 2019, the Kentucky Wildcats football team made its third consecutive bowl appearance under coach Mark Stoops. The national title defending cheerleaders can also be seen at Memorial Coliseum supporting the top 10 Volleyball team, leaders of the South Eastern conference, Coached by Craig Skinner. They also show up to cheer on the ever growing women's basketball program, led by Coach Matthew Mitchell. The University of Kentucky is well known for being leaders in sports, and that includes it's cheerleading team.
The squad receives substantial media exposure. Having finished in the top ten every year since the existence of the UCA National College Championships, each year the UK squad is seen on the ESPN-televised Championships Program, which airs at least eight times nationally.
The squad is frequently the subject of highlight stories by television and radio stations and newspapers. The squad has been featured on the CBS Evening News, Eye to Eye with Connie Chung, and the CBS Morning Show, and in the magazines Southern Living, GQ, ESPN The Magazine, and Seventeen. In 2017 The University of Kentucky cheerleaders were chosen to represent the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. They were selected by the ICU which is the International Cheer Union. The cheerleaders are not competing in the Olympic Games yet, but they will perform and cheer on other USA athletes. The goal is to have cheerleading added to the Summer Olympics in the future, possible by the 2020 games which will be held in Tokyo Japan.
There will be six other countries participating in the Winter Olympics in Seoul,South Korea such as Norway, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and the Netherlands. With these six other countries the United States of America will be sending a college collegiate cheerleading team to represent for America. These student athletes will be landing in Seoul on February 18, 2018 and will return on February 29, 2018.