No one thought the season would end in the way it did. It was so abrupt, sudden, and upsetting.
With the global pandemic of Covid-19 taking away everything, making people stay in their homes, making it unsafe to be in big groups, the world of all-star cheerleading literally turned upside down weeks before the coveted World Championships and Summit Championships. It was announced that the Cheerleading and Dance World Championships held at Walt Disney World every April would be canceled due to the coronavirus taking the world by storm. Which meant that a lot of the gyms' last competition was either UCA Internationals or NCA in Dallas.
The last time the seniors would get to take the mat with their teams, and they didn't even know it. They didn't realize that when they hit their final zero deduction routine on the floor in Dallas or at ESPN Wide World of Sports, that it would be the last time they would be in front of a cheering crowd, celebrating with their teams about how amazing their routine was. They thought they would be getting back in the gym, preparing to bring home a globe.
To be honest? It sucks. Not only for Worlds gyms, but for gyms all over the world that had to cut their seasons short. Many teams that weren't going to Worlds were anticipating The Summit or D2 Summit in hopes of bringing home a top placement or win for their gym. Seniors on those teams are losing out on such an amazing opportunity and it's all because of a global pandemic that honestly isn't being taken as seriously as it should be.
As a former athlete, I can't even begin to imagine the pain all of these athletes are feeling. The feeling that they won't get to perform that routine again with their teammates is heartbreaking. So many teams were getting their Worlds and Summit upgrades and now they don't even get the chance to display those changes and amazing features to a crowd. It was left at the gym and that's where they'll stay.
The Summit is still (as of right now) still going on, but, it's been very foggy as to how it's going to be done. So if you're a senior on a Summit team, and they still end up having this competition in June? Have fun. Go out there and make it your best. Make every second count, and do it for those who can't perform one more time. It'll be worth it in the end.
To the seniors who can't perform one more time, know that everything you've done this far has been worth it. Whether you've won Worlds, Summit, SuperNationals, NCA, Cheersport, UCA, etc, whatever you have done in your career is going to be remembered by so many. You put in years of hard work, there have been moments where you've wanted to throw your shoes on the ground and say "never again", but, you knew that you had a purpose and you knew that you would be letting your teammates down and that's not something you wanted to do. You've made not only yourself proud, but you've made so many others proud of you. Some of you have been recognized for your work and are very well known in the cheerleading world, and some of you, are recognized by some, but know that you're loved by many.
I sincerely hope that Varsity/USASF/IASF/ICU, whoever, gives these seniors one more shot. Give them another season to prove that they are wanting to go out with a bang. Covid-19 can't stop these amazing athletes. It's not fair to them, they've worked so hard for these moments and they were ripped away from them with a snap of a finger.
Seniors, don't consider this a "good-bye" to all-star cheerleading, consider it a "See you later" or a "Thank you", for all the years of memories and lasting moments that have made you the person that you are today. You are never unnoticed. You are loved, and on behalf of the cheerleading community, I am so sorry your senior season had to end the way it did. You don't deserve this. You deserve the best.