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Friday, March 12, 2004
Updated: March 18, 11:52 AM ET
Q&A: South Carolina's Carolyn


Carolyn, you're on ESPN!
As part of's Cheerleader Challenge, we set out to talk to cheerleaders around the country and find out what it's like to do their thing in front of thousands of crazy sports fans.

We recently caught up with Carolyn from South Carolina who talked about whether or not cheerleading is a sport, those tight uniforms and her most embarassing moment as a cheerleader.

Stayed logged onto Cheerleader Challenge for more interviews with cheerleaders around the country.

SportsNation: What is the best thing about being a cheerleader?
Cheering in front of all of my friends and getting to be on ESPN.

SN: What is a typical day for a cheerleader?
It consists of weight training, classes, a break to nap (if I'm lucky), cheer practice, dinner, TV or studying, or partying.

SN: What is the hardest thing about being a cheerleader?
Managing time to study and keep good grades.

SN: Is cheerleading a sport?
We train just as hard as any other sport with weight lifting and practice. Plus, when you cheer you use many muscles that you didn't even think you had. Cheerleaders are athletes because at South Carolina we have to deal with drug testing just like any other athlete, and we have a practice schedule that includes weight training. Some people may not believe it, but cheerleading is actually hard sometimes.

SN: What is your most embarrassing moment as a cheerleader?
Hahaha. It was the Georgia game at home Feb. 28th, 2004. I was standing on the base of the basket holding up a sign that said "Stand Up and Yell" during the opposing team's free throw. Well, apparently it was shaking the backboard, so the refs had to come and tell me to get down. Haha, but it was ok because all the South Carolina students started booing the ref for making me get down.

SN: What is your best moment as a cheerleader?
My first game in Williams Brice Stadium my freshman year at South Carolina. Our pre-game show is one of the nation's best and I honestly had butterflies in my tummy and chills standing on the field in front of about 85,000 fans.

SN: What is the toughest opposing stadium to cheer at?
Clemson's "Death Valley". They are our number one rival, so you can imagine how tough their fans can be sometimes. Last year we were almost run down by students carrying the goal post after they won.

SN: What is the toughest opposing arena to cheer at?
We haven't really been to many opposing arenas, but it would probably be Clemson again.

SN: What is the best all-time cheer?
The GAME-COCK cheer that we do before every home football game. Half the stadium is yelling Game, the other yelling Cocks! It is so loud, and so amazing.

SN: Do you have professional cheerleading aspirations?
Haha. No, no professional cheerleading for me. It is too dancy and not enough flipping and stunting.

SN: Any second thoughts about those uniforms?
Well, I love them. But sometimes when I put it on after I washed it, I think, "Gosh these are really tight and short."

SN: What famous woman or movie star would make the best cheerleader?
Cameron Diaz. She has so much spunk!

SN: What is it like to cheer in front of 100,000 fans?
Honestly, I don't have words to explain how awesome it is! Just think about 100,000 of your closest friends all pulling for the team that YOU are cheering for. It's hard to get them ALL pumped up, but it is a lot of fun trying.