Note: University of Kentucky cheerleader Kyle Steele is an intern for the University of Kentucky Alumni Association this semester. He and his team will be at the Winter Olympics in South Korea later this week, and Kyle will be updating us on what the Wildcats are doing, and writing about his experiences in South Korea during his trip.
I am Kyle Steele and I am a senior at the University of Kentucky. I am planning to graduate December 2018 with a degree in Community Leadership Development and I’m
excited to start my journey into the real world. But first, I’m excited to experience the honor of representing the USA at the 2018 Olympic Games as a University of Kentucky cheerleader.
Late last year, I was informed that the University of Kentucky cheerleading team was selected to represent the United States and the sport of cheerleading in the 2018 Winter Olympics. This is one of the biggest honors that I have been presented with so far in my life. Not only do I get to represent cheerleading but I get to represent my country by doing something that I love and have worked so hard for. Cheerleaders around the country have wished us luck and are cheering for us to be amazing, because we could be the team that helps the Olympic Committee decide if they think cheerleading could be included in the Games in the future.
I have been cheering since my freshmen year of high school at Centennial High School in Franklin, Tennessee. In eighth grade my friend Alex Ferrell asked me if I would be interested in trying out for the high school cheerleading team. At the time I didn’t really know what cheerleading was all about but I thought I would give it a try. This is where my cheerleading career started. I cheered at Ace Cheer Company during high school and Shelton State Community College at the beginning of my college career. Now I’m blessed to be at the University of Kentucky.
The preparation we used for College Nationals is the same as we prepare for the Olympics. We have added more skills to the routine and we are working hard to make this routine as clean as possible. We want to show everyone that cheerleading takes hard work, athleticism and relentless mental toughness. Like I said before this is not only something I want to do for myself but for all the current cheerleaders and the cheerleaders to come.
I am excited to experience all of the different cultures at the Olympics. This is probably one of the only times in my life where I will be surrounded by a culture that is completely foreign to me, which can be exciting but nerve racking at the same time. There are going to be so many talented athletes, and I hope to meet a few of them since we are staying in the Olympic Village. I will be taking a lot of photos, hopefully with these athletes, along with all of the beautiful things in the country and at the Olympics. I’ll be doing a little bit of shopping, too. It’s always cool to bring things home from other places.