The Italian Almanac

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cheerleaders

Italian News - February 7

The fans at the Turin Games won't be the only ones cheering on their favorite Olympians starting this weekend. They'll get some help from cheerleaders.

The committee in charge of organizing the games says about 150 female cheerleaders, from age 15 to 26, have been hired to pump up the crowds at Olympic ice hockey, speedskating and skiing events. They will dance to a mix of popular Italian music with traditional American cheerleading choreography.

"We wanted to find a way to warm up the public for this international event," said Roberto Zamboni, the chief of support and production for the organizing committee. Cheerleaders are rarely employed at sporting events outside of American football and basketball, but Zamboni said the early feedback from the public in Italy has been positive.