Talk about a trooper. Did you see this story in the SJ-R about SIU cheerleader and Springfield native Kristi Yamaoka?
Yamaoka fell from the 15-foot apex of a cheerleader pyramid with about four minutes remaining in the Missouri Valley Conference basketball championship game
between SIU and Bradley at the Savvis Center in St Louis.
The crowd of 14,000 people - and a CBS-TV audience - watched in hushed suspense as Yamaoka lay motionless. Finally, Yamaoka waved and made cheer moves with her arms, the only parts of her petite body not strapped to a gurney, in time to the band playing the SIU school song.
“I didn’t realize I got knocked out,” Yamaoka said Monday. “My legs ... I just remember not wanting to move. I thought ‘Don’t touch me. I’m broke.’
“My arms went numb. But I heard the fight song, and as a cheerleader, it’s my job that the crowd is riled up. I’m there to support the team. I didn’t want the ballplayers to get distracted worrying about me. I wanted them to keep moving on.”
Wow. I think I’d be yelling, “You f**kers, you dropped me!” as they wheeled me out. So much for my team spirit. Thankfully, Kristi has a better attitude.
The Southern Illinoisian has a good account too.
Get well, Kristi!