Saturday, Dec 10, 2016
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Olympics

Local man cheers on U.S. Olympians

David-Clemons-back-row-third-from-left

David Clemons, back row, third from left, is in London as part of the USA cheer team. The squad has collegiate cheerleaders and coaches from around the nation. He's been assistant cheer coach at BGSU since 2009.

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BOWLING GREEN -- David Clemons is living his Olympic dream.

No, he's not competing in the London games, but the assistant cheer coach at Bowling Green State University is doing what he enjoys most: cheering on U.S. athletes.

Mr. Clemons is in London as part of the USA cheer team -- a squad of 10 male and 10 female collegiate cheerleaders and coaches from across the country.

"London has been nothing short of amazing!" he said in an email. "Inside Olympic Park the atmosphere has been full of energy. Everyone is extremely patriotic as they cheer on their country's Olympic athletes."

The cheerleading squad, he said, has performed at the men's and women's handball quarter and semifinals and will be on the sidelines this weekend for the men's basketball finals.

Mr. Clemons was a cheerleader as an undergraduate at Central Michigan University and as a graduate student at Morehead State College. He came to BGSU in 2009 as assistant cheer coach and has traveled internationally with Varsity and the Universal Cheerleaders Association as an instructor and judge for cheerleading camps and competitions.

Anne Marie King, head cheer coach and director of spirit at BGSU, also works for Varsity and UCA.

"David will represent our country, UCA, and Bowling Green State University well during his training and performance at the Olympics," Ms. King said. "We are all excited for the opportunity he has received, and we will all be cheering him on from BGSU during the games."

The Olympic cheerleading team will perform choreographed cheers, stunts, and tumbling, and entertain audiences during half-time of the basketball finals.

Mr. Clemons said the team is staying just outside Olympic Park at a YMCA with other cheerleading squads, including members of London's Crimson Heat Tigers, who bill themselves as the official Olympic cheerleaders.

"We all attend each other's practice to show support and to get each other ready for the large crowds we will perform in front of," he said.

-- Jennifer Feehan

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