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4.18.2008

girl dies in cheerleading accident

Damn. In Massachussetts, 20-year-old Lauren Chang died Monday after collapsing during a daylong cheerleading competition over the weekend: Cheerleader hurt in contest dies. She was competing with her cheerleading squad at the Minuteman Cheerleading Championships when something went wrong during a routine, and she collapsed.

According to authorities, she suffered collapsed lungs after apparently being kicked in the chest by a tumbler. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead on Monday afternoon. At the website for Energized Athletics, they've posted a memorial for Lauren.

According to people who attended the competition, the accident was just one of several that occurred during the course of the day. In fact, according to the article, from 1982 to 2006, 10 female athletes have died from injuries sustained—directly or indirectly—during cheerleading stunts performed at the high school and college level, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. First of all, who knew that cheerleading could be so dangerous? And secondly, who knew that there was a National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research?

UPDATE: Lauren Chang's family is calling for increased safety measures and emergency medical care at cheerleading competitions: Late cheerleader's kin seek safer contests.