The 2021 International Cheer Union World Championships (ICU) will be like none before.
The event returns after being cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 edition was scheduled for earlier this year, but was delayed and transitioned to a virtual format amid on-going travel concerns.
"We sincerely appreciate the input we have received from all of our National Federations during this process, and I can assure you that we are committed to having the very best virtual competition possible," said ICU President Jeff Webb when announcing the 2021 virtual format.
The live, virtual event will air over two days, 9-10 October with World titles on the line.
The ICU has already made plans to return to an in-person event in 2022, with the worlds set for 20-25 April in Orlando.
Below, we take a look at the schedule, what to look for and where fans can watch the event from around the world.
September 26: last day to submit video entries
October 9 (starting at 1000 ET/1600 CET): All performances/teams compete
October 10 (starting at 1000 ET/1600 CET): Finals for the top 10 teams in each division
A complete schedule will be released closer to the event, according to the ICU website.
Who to watch
At the last ICU Worlds in 2019, the U.S. team won the Coed Premier title ahead of Canada and Chinese Taipei. Finland were the champions in the All Girl Premier category, holding off the U.S. and Norway.
In the elite division, Colombia took the coed title with Ecuador and Costa Rica rounding out the top three. Chile took the elite all girls gold while Australia was the silver medallist. Slovenia finished with the bronze.
The virtual event means not all the reigning champions are back to defend their titles. According to the ICU, the following nations are set to compete in each division:
- All Girl Premier: Independent Athletes of the ICU, Norway, Finland, USA, Mexico
- Coed Premier: USA, Finland, Guatemala, Colombia, China, Independent Athletes of the ICU, Norway, Mexico, Chinese Taipei
- All Girl Elite: Czech Republic, Japan, Korea, Ecuado, Greece, Costa Rica, Slovenia
- Coed Elite: Poland, Korea, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, Belarus, Hong Kong
Where to watch
Stream all the action live on Olympic Channel here.