Okanagan cheerleaders win big in Las Vegas - InfoNews

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Okanagan cheerleaders win big in Las Vegas

Team Intensity was all smiles when they won their Finals division last Saturday.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Okanagan Firestorm Cheerleading
May 14, 2019 - 8:30 PM

KELOWNA - Two minutes and thirty seconds isn't a lot of time to make a good first impression, especially when there's championship glory on the line. That's all the time dozens of cheerleading teams had to dazzle judges at the U.S. Finals Cheer and Dance competition in Las Vegas this weekend.

Okanagan Firestorm Cheerleading's travel team, aptly named Intensity, rose to the challenge and grabbed the top prize in their division.

"It's absolutely incredible," said Nicole Parrotta, coach for the team and co-owner of Okanagan Firestorm Cheerleading.

Team Intensity won gold in the international junior level one division at the finals on May 11. The team of 24 girls from across the Okanagan, age 11-16, won with a raw score of 85.12 with no point deductions, which Parrotta said is an incredible feat in itself.

"It's almost better than winning," she said.

The finals was a high-level competition, a far cry from the stereotypical pom poms. Parrotta said teams jumped, threw each other in the air, and did a variety of stunts, all within a two minute and 30 second time limit.

Parrotta said Intensity is the first team from the B.C. Interior to even compete in the U.S. Finals, let alone win them. They earned a spot in the competition after coming in second place at the International All Star Championship in Orlando, Florida last March.

Parrotta said she formed Intensity as a travel team to allow girls the chance to see and experience competition from around the world. To say they've surpassed her expectations would be an understatement.

"It's a pretty incredible journey," she said.

In true Las Vegas fashion, Parrotta decided to gamble by putting her team in the Nfinity Champions League competition on May 12, which they handily won with no point deductions. It was the cap to a fantastic weekend.

Intensity's winning ways could continue next week. Their finals victory was recorded and sent to a new panel of judges to be evaluated against other teams across America. If they're chosen as the best, they'll be crowned the Champion of Champions.

"They'd get these Super Bowl-like rings," Parrotta said.

Parrotta will gather the team at the Okanagan Firestorm gym in Kelowna on May 22 to watch the live announcement on Varsity TV and find out if they're truly the best of the best.

"It would be amazing," Parrotta said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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