A team of Tri-Cities-based athletes are still reeling in the thrill of representing Canada on the international stage.
And they've got the hardware proving that they are among the best of the best in their sport.
Twelve members of the Vancouver All-Stars (VAS) cheerleading club claimed a silver medal at the 2023 International Cheer Union (ICU) Junior World Championships in Florida last month.
The three-day competition took place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.
The VAS cheerleaders were part of a 28-person Team BC squad that won the right to don the maple leaf from a virtual competition in the youth co-ed median division.
By world's end, and after performing two routines, the All-Stars tumbled, flipped and danced to second place from the meet that brought in more than 30 countries.
The ICU judges gave the team a total score of 81.7143, which was roughly six points back of England, who won the gold medal in the category.
However, Canada was seemingly neck-and-neck with the eventual champions and were in a two-horse race for the title, outscoring third-place Chile by 18.5 points.
"It's been something that, whenever I watched it when I was younger, I've always dreamt to be them and be on that floor doing what they're doing," said 14-year-old backspotter Katie Brown in an earlier interview with the Tri-City News.
"We didn't all grow up together through cheer," added main base Addison Dew, 15, who added the chemistry between her Canadian cohorts was unmatched.
"We just met each other this year, but we've grown so close together....I think it's a really great opportunity for us since we're [still] so young in our sport."
VAS has been established in Port Coquitlam's G Force Gym (2110-550 Sherling Pl.) for more than two decades.
The All-Stars that slipped a silver around their necks in Florida were as follows (in alphabetical order):
- Eden Baldwin
- Rylynn Bergson-Gonzales
- Katie Brown
- Taylor-Lynn Buckman
- Addison Dew
- Echo Fee
- Kennedy Krause
- Kristina Pavan
- McKenzie Sexton
- Taliah Sherritt
- Trinity Tompkins
- Mary-Jane Webster
Meanwhile, the VAS Blackout team also claimed silver in the IO7 division during club competitions at the ICU world championships.
As well, VAS Black Ice finished fifth in their respective category, arguably showing the most dedication of any other team after having their music cut 40 seconds into the routine.
For more information about Vancouver All-Stars Cheerleading, you can visit the club's website.