The all-star/competitive cheerleading industry often doesn’t give enough attention to the ICU Championships. So we’re here to spread some international L.O.V.E.

The International Cheer Union, or ICU, is universally recognized as the international governing body for cheerleading. Their mission is to create positive advancements in cheerleading across the globe. 

The ICU was founded in 2004 and today they have over 109 National Federation members around the world. The ICU Championships offer a chance for international teams to showcase their unique style and advance the sport on a global scale.

Cheerleading is not nearly as popular around the world as it is in the United States. With that, international teams have to overcome many obstacles to even compete at such a high level. But their efforts should not go unnoticed as they’ve helped grow competitive cheerleading’s popularity.

These world class teams will have you on the edge of your seat with their sky high baskets and Olympic-level tumbling.

Top Ten Most Memorable International Teams

1. Team USA (Level 6 All-Girl Premier) Gold Medal

Team USA All-Girl Level 6 has won the gold medal seven years in a row (2009-2015). It seems as if nothing can stop these ladies from achieving greatness. Their high energy routine and sheer power will have you on the edge of your seat.

2. Team New Zealand (Level 5 All Girl Elite) Gold Medal

Fans know Team New Zealand’s 2015 gold championship performance for its unique choreography and fast-paced stunts. These athletes are the back-to-back World Champion in the Level 5 All-Girl division. Will 2016 call for a 3-peat?

3. Team Philippines (Level 5 All-Girl Elite) Sliver Medal

Team Philippines constantly surprises the world with their medal-placing routines. Their level 5 all-girl team took home the bronze medal in 2014 and the silver medal in 2015. Their coed team also took home the bronze medal in 2015.

4. Team Norway (Level 6 All-Girl Premier) Sliver Medal

Team Norway wowed the crowd in 2015 when they performed this silver medal routine. As of 2016, there are only 1,600 cheerleading teams in Norway, making a silver medal finish extra rewarding. They performed this routine with pure elegance.

5. Team Finland (Level 6 All-Girl Premier) Bronze Medal

Who says partner stunting is only for boys? These Finnish female athletes showcase true strength in their partner stunts. Team Finland Level 6 All-Girl won bronze at the 2015 championships with an awe-inspiring routine.

6. Team Mexico (Level 5 Coed Elite) Gold Medal

Memorable international teams aren’t limited to all-girl teams. Team Mexico, winners of the bronze medal in 2014 and 2015, showcase their high level of difficulty, innovative choreography, and strength from both the men and women on this elite level team.

7. Chinese Taipei (Level 6 Coed Premier) Gold Medal

Chinese Taipei took home the gold after competing at the ICU Championship since 2010.  Previously, they took home the bronze medal in 2010, 2011, and 2012. In 2013 and 2014 they took home the silver medal. After building up an impressive resume, they went home with the Gold Medal in 2015. 

8. Team Chile (Level 5 Coed Elite) Sliver Medal

Team Chile brought kick double baskets, impressive male and female tumbling, and innovative stunts to the 2015 ICU Championships. Their energy and passion shines in their performance with a pulse you can feel. Team Chile also took home the silver medal in 2013 and 2014. Team Chile also took home the silver medal in 2013 and 2014.

9. Team USA (Level 6 Coed Premier) Sliver Medal

Team USA’s Level 6 Coed Premier team has unbelievable athleticism and strength. When you take the most talented all-star and college cheerleaders in the United States, you’re sure to create a crowd-pleasing routine. They took home the silver medal in 2015 and the gold medal 2009 – 2014.

10. Team Thailand (Level 6 Coed Premier) Bronze Medal

Team Thailand has shocked the cheerleading world with their innovative stunts since they began attending the ICU Championships. (Throwback to when they tied GymTyme in 2011 for the World Championship!) Team Thailand won the silver medal in 2014 and the bronze in 2015.

Bonus: In 2014, the documentary The Cheer Ambassadors showcased Team Thailand cheerleaders. It showed how these athletes prepare to make the team and the journey through competition season.

You can check out The Cheer Ambassadors trailer here:

This post was written by Elizabeth Pooler. Check her out her cheer Tumblr here.

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