ICU World Championships 2017

For the past seven years, the International Cheer Union World Championship has taken place on the two days leading up to the IASF/USASF Cheerleading & Dance Worlds. This year, cheerleaders and dancers from all over the world poured in to Disney’s Wide World of Sports on Wednesday, April 26, for a newly formatted 3-day ICU Worlds competition.

            New this year was the Junior World Championships, which were open to national teams with members ranging in age from 12-16 years old. Teams competed on Wednesday in either the All Girl or Coed Advanced (USASF Level 4) or All Girl or Coed Elite (USASF Level 5) divisions. Representing the United States in All Girl Elite were the Eastside Middle School cheerleaders from Kentucky, who have several state and national titles under their belts already. Representing the United States in the Coed Elite division were the Dyer County High School varsity cheerleaders, who recently won UCA High School Nationals. The United States also had a junior hip hop team, hailing from Legendary Athletics.

            With the junior divisions being new this year, there were only a handful of competitors, but the divisions are expected to grow for next season’s competition. As expected, Team USA dominated all three junior divisions they had teams in, with the Junior All Girl Elite team beating out Team Finland and Team Sweden, and the Junior Coed Elite team beating out Team Finland and Team Colombia to bring home gold. Team USA Hip Hop also won their division, making it a clean sweep for the US. In the largest junior division, Junior All Girl Advanced, Team Canada was able to beat out all 8 teams in their division to come home with the first-ever Junior All Girl Advanced gold medal. And in the Junior Coed Advanced division, Team Mexico proved to be strong enough to beat out Team Canada and Team Malaysia.

            Another new division at this year’s ICU World Championships was the ParaCheer Unified Advanced division, where teams featuring members with physical and developmental limitations as well as those without limitations were able to compete against each other. Last year, Team England brought their first ParaCheer team to ICU as an exhibition, and there was enough interest to make it a division for the 2017 season. Team England was able to bring home the first-ever ParaCheer gold medal this year, beating out Team Costa Rica. Instantly, videos from this division went viral, and now this division is expected to grow for next year’s competition.

            Also new at this year’s ICU competition, the All Girl and Coed Elite (L5) and All Girl and Coed Premier (L6) divisions, who in the past have only competed once, now compete twice. Semi-finals for the divisions was held on Thursday, April 27, with the top teams advancing to finals on Friday, April 28. Over the past seven years, Team USA has always been a dominant force to be reckoned with, however, as seen this year, other countries are giving the US a run for their money! In the All Girl Premier division, Team Finland advanced to finals ahead of the US National Team, finishing a close second behind the undefeated Team USA All Girl in finals. And in the Coed Premier division, the competition between the US National Team and Team Chinese Taipei was tighter than ever, with Team USA managing a win over the very talented Chinese Taipei athletes. Team Canada walked away from the competition with the bronze in All Girl Premier, their first medal in the Premier divisions at ICU. Team Finland proved that they’re becoming a powerhouse cheer country this year, bringing home medals in both premier divisions. Team England also should be very proud of themselves, taking home medals in both Elite categories, including their first gold, which they dedicated to a former teammate who passed away during the season. In the Coed Elite division, Team Chile won their first gold, after getting silver for the past two years in a row.

            View a full list of results from the ICU World Championships below, and click on the photos to view photo galleries from the competition!

Junior All Girl Advanced

1. Team Canada

2. Team Germany

3. Team Japan

4. Team Austria

5. Team Mexico

6. Team Scotland

7. Team Czech

8. Team Argentina

Junior Coed Advanced

1. Team Mexico

2. Team Canada

3. Team Malaysia

Junior All Girl Elite

1. US National Team

2. Team Finland

3. Team Sweden

Junior Coed Elite

1. US National Team

2. Team Finland

3. Team Colombia

All Girl Elite

1. Team England

2. Team Germany

3. Team Slovenia

4. Team Chile

5. Team Japan

6. Team Italy

7. Team Philippines

8. Team Netherlands

9. Team South Africa

Coed Elite

1. Team Chile

2. Team England

3. Team Puerto Rico

4. Team Ecuador

5. Team Philippines

6. Team Czech

7. Team Korea

8. Team Jamaica

9. Team Belgium

10. Team Italy

11. Team South Africa

12. Team Brazil

13. Team Guatemala

14. Team Wales

15. Team Switzerland

16. Team Argentina

17. Team France

All Girl Premier

1. US National Team

2. Team Finland

3. Team Canada

4. Team Norway

5. Team Denmark

6. Team Sweden

7. Team Mexico

Coed Premier

1. US National Team

2. Team Chinese Taipei

3. Team Finland

4. Team Germany

5. Team Canada

6. Team Mexico

7. Team Norway

8. Team Costa Rica

9. Team China

10. Team Denmark

11. Team Sweden

ParaCheer Unified Advanced

1. Team England

2. Team Costa Rica