Competitive cheerleading is a sport, Jennifer Allen argues in today's New York Times, and it's not a girly one like hockey where athletes wear protective gear. "In what other sport is an athlete tossed more than 30 feet in the air -- smiling -- before spiraling down into the arms of a trusted teammate? Lifts and tosses and catches are the mainstay of competitive cheerleading. 'Fliers' do not wear hip pads or kneepads or helmets. There is little to protect a cheerleader from awkward or poor landings on the gym floor."

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