There is said to be a lot of competition and some hard times in trying to make it as a professional cheerleader in the NFL. The old adage is that it takes a young girl with all the skills and qualifications of securing a roster spot. Well, WGNO reported on July 15, 2014, that a 40-year-old mother of two named Kriste Lewis defied the odds and made it into the league as a cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints.
That’s right, Lewis is 40-years-old and has two children. Her kids are both boys and they are the ages of 14 and 11.
She had a longtime dream of becoming an NFL cheerleader, but just never had the nerve to step it up and try out for a spot. Once Lewis turned 40, that was when she decided to put on her cheerleading uniform and try to fulfill that dream.
In April, Kriste Lewis tried out for the New Orleans Saintsations, and she wasn’t just battling her age and a crop full of younger women. No, Lewis also has a medical issue that very well could have stopped her journey before it even started.
“Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with polysistic kidney disease,” she said. “Eventually my kidneys will shut down [and] I will be in need of dialysis and in need of a transplant.”
ABC News reported that the Mississippi native knew the odds were against her.
“There were a lot of young, beautiful girls,” Lewis told ABC News of her competition, who ranged in age from 18 to 30. “It was a fear. I will not lie.”
Still, she wasn’t going to let that stop her. She wasn’t going to let anything stop her for that matter. Lewis took part in three rounds of tryouts to become a New Orleans Saints’ cheerleader and soon learned she was one of 36 women selected for the team in the upcoming season.
Her official debut will be on Sept. 21, 2014, when the Saints take on the Minnesota Vikings in their home opener on FOX. Their first two games of the season are on the road against the Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns.
Kriste Lewis’ family is extremely happy for her and proud of what she has accomplished. Half of her goal has already been reached, but now she wants to be an inspiration to others and let them know that anything is possible.
By Danny Cox