Laura Vikmanis Cheerleader

Posted by puguh on Saturday, January 22, 2011

Laura Vikmanis Cheerleader. Laura Vikmanis: NFL’s Oldest Cheerleader at 42. By Sunday night we’ll know the two teams who will have the honor of competing in this year’s Super Bowl. And neither one of them will be the Cincinnati Bengals. They had a pretty bad season and came nowhere close to even making the playoffs.

But that didn’t mean that the Bengals didn’t put a remarkable product on the field. Because they did. Only it wasn’t their football team. It was their cheerleaders, the Ben-Gals. (Get it? Bengals and…oh never mind.) The most remarkable thing about the Ben-Gals? A 42-year-old mother of two.

A few years back, Laura Vikmanis attended a Cincinnati Bengals game and was mesmerized by the cheerleaders who adorned the sideline, so much so that she decided she wanted to become one. Only one problem. As a busy mom of two, she wasn’t exactly in the best shape of her life. So she worked out hard and tried out for the team when she was 39. She admitted to being intimidated. After all, she was 20 years older than many of the young ladies she was competing against. Though she made it all the way through to the tryout finals, she came up a bit short and didn’t make the squad.

But she didn’t let that get her down. The next year she “buckled down and focused on [her] fitness” like never before. She showed back up at the Ben-Gals tryouts and for Vikmanis, the second time was a charm. She made the squad. Team captain Tara Willson feels Vikmanis is a “great model” for the cheer team.

Vikmanis, who once saw her age as a detriment, now sees it as an advantage. She’s served as an inspiration for women who see her defying that age. Still, she admits that it is a bit odd that she’s older than all of the players for whom she’s cheering. “At least I’m not as old as the coach,” she jokes. “He’s a little older than me.”

I’m proud of Laura. Here’s a mom who’s set a goal and accomplished it despite long odds. In so doing, she’s been able to show countless people that anything’s possible, most notably, her two daughters.

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