B.C. Cheerleading Squad is One of 20 in U.S. to Perform at Olympics

The Boston College Cheerleading Squad will be one of approximately 20 college and university cheerleading teams performing at the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Cheerleading coach Steve Sollitto and the team of seven men and seven women - including this year's graduating seniors - will travel to Atlanta on July 6 to practice with the other teams before the Olympics begin on July 20. In addition to the many thousands of spectators at the Olympic Stadium, Sollitto noted, the squad will be seen by a worldwide television audience.

"This honor says a lot about the squad's ability and is a great opportunity for the students," Sollitto said.

The Olympic Committee chose the participating teams based on videotapes of their performances and photographs, Sollitto said. Squads will perform as one unit in the opening show, all wearing a uniform specially designed for the 1996 Olympics. The Olympic Committee has sent Sollitto a videotape of the routines the team must learn for the show, which is being choreographed by the National Cheerleading Association. The BC cheerleaders will begin practice on campus July 2.

"It's such a big deal for the students," he said. "It also will be a great motivating factor for next year's team. When summer camp starts in August, some of them will have the Olympics under their belt, which will be a real confidence booster."

-S.H.

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