Leave it to those lewd Brits to have more cheerleaders at their Olympics than any other Games in recent years. Appearing mostly at beach volleyball and basketball events, these packs of brightly-dressed women (and a few men) have romped about joyfully between matches, doing their best to lighten the mood of jaw-clenching, bloodthirsty competition — like an amuse-bouche between heavy courses, if you will. Interestingly, the wire photographers have taken to photographing the cheerleaders' hindquarters with fervor, particularly those wearing swimsuits (the default costume for those performing at beach volleyball events).
Where do these cheerleaders even come from? Apparently some of them are members of the Ascension Eagles, a British charity-slash-cheer-program that has four squads of 16 cheerleaders performing at various events. Others — namely, the ones wearing the adorable swimsuits at all the beach volleyball games — are part of the Crimson Heat cheer squad, tapped by the London organizing committee as the official cheerleaders of the 2012 Games. All of the cheerleaders are participating purely on a volunteer basis. Enjoy our slideshow of their antics.
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Here are the cheerleaders practicing two days before the Olympic games start. As you can see, their "uniforms" appear to consist of normal bikinis, the sort you might find at the Gap or Victoria's Secret. While some of them are cute, they certainly don't look conducive to vigorous prancing, high kicks, rolling about in the sand, or other cheer-related activities. Exibit A: That neon bandeau top is begging to be hiked up already.
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London: not a great climate for hair, tans, or bathing suits.
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Here are the cheerleaders at the women's beach volleyball match between China and Russia on July 28. Again, their suits are so cute and beachy! But note the errant strap on the girl in green, and don't get us started on all the wedgie hazards.
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Nothing guarantees a big lump of sand in your swimsuit bottoms like alternating between synchronized leg-kicks and sand angels.
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At the women's beach volleyball matches on July 28, the cheerleaders wore these charming retro suits with hair ornaments like clip-in flowers and bandannas. The result: a cross between a Tampax commercial and a luau.
A few male cheerleaders, wearing equally festive swimwear, took part in a conga line at the women's beach volleyball matches on July 28.
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This strongly resembles one of those Cosmo sex positions that they recommend every month, only with interchangeable objects depending on the theme. You know, "prop yourself up with pillows" or "lean against the sofa" or "use a beach ball."
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But seriously, people-tossing could be an awesome Olympic sport.
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See? This could get really competitive.
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Same with crab-walk races.
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And now, a butts interlude...
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It's downhill from here.
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Some bathing suits are just not designed to stay in place during coordinated group-rolling routines.
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I know, I know, but let's just take a moment to commend the physical effort that this move must entail.
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She thoughtfully matched her manicure to her swimsuit.
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Gratuitous? Perhaps, but at the same time, she's wearing a one-piece — in the world of beach volleyball, that's practically like a nun's habit.
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Surprisingly, most of the routines so far have been devoid of pom-poms. One of the few exceptions: the U.S. versus China men's basketball game, which had more traditionally outfitted cheerleaders.
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This is the face of a cheerleader with a sand-free swimsuit — for now.
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Note the funky watches! Because a cheerleader's gotta be on time.
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In lieu of a beach theme, other cheerleaders wore confusing pleather stretch pants and brought fun props like Hula-Hoops.