The six most offensive words in the English language (aside from, "Oh, that was your leftover pizza?") are often said in reference to cheerleading: "That's not even a real sport." First, people who say this just tend to be insecure jackasses who somehow need to feel mightier by tearing down somebody else's passion. Second, they've obviously never seen this video of cheerleaders performing amazing tricks. Seriously, when you take a look at this you'll see that cheerleading isn't just a sport, but is arguably the hardest sport of them all.
I am not a cheerleader nor will I ever be, by design of my complete inflexibility, lack of hand/eye coordination, and the fact that I will never be able to summon the INSANE discipline that these humans have. Most of them regularly get up before dawn to practice, and basically defy death every day with gravity-defying flips, throws, and tumbles. If you lose your focus for a second on the soccer field, your teammate gets mad; if you lose your focus for a second as a cheerleader, your teammate gets a broken bone, or worse. More than 70% of catastrophic injuries caused to college women in sports were a direct result of cheerleading. Talk about pressure.
Oh, and they have to do all these crazy stunts with big smiles on their faces after traveling for god-knows-how-long during exhausting competition seasons, in full make-up, with their hair tightly done up in ways that give me a headache just to behold. It's like a sport and a pageant and a high stakes circus performance without a net all rolled into one. That's a lot of intense stuff to roll into one anything. I'm not even sure when these magical creatures sleep. On second thought, if you have any doubt about whether or not cheerleading is a sport, maybe you're right. Because a "sport" is nowhere near as badass as what cheerleaders do on the reg: