Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos stopped performing sometime in December, long before they fell flat on their faces during the playoffs. But the team's cheerleaders kept on going. This week the squad is traveling to Hong Kong, where they'll join several other performance groups from around the world as they participate in a massive Chinese New Year's celebration.
Along with a float-filled parade, a fireworks display on Hong Kong's waterfront and presentations by various groups, the Broncos cheerleaders will shake and shimmy on February 19.
Why the Broncos -- as opposed to a more well-known team, like the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Jets or even the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots? The groups have to apply, says John Soriano, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Groups are chosen "based on different factors, including the group's ability to interact and perform in front of a large crowd, the group's availability to participate in the festivities, and if the group has not been to Hong Kong in recent years."
There is no special affinity for the orange and blue in Hong Kong, though, he points out -- just an enjoyment of the NFL: "The people of Hong Kong always enjoy seeing the NFL cheerleaders participate in the Cathay Pacific Lunar New Year celebrations. The performance groups that we identify and bring to Hong Kong are always welcomed with open arms and excitement."
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According to Broncos cheerleading director Shawna Peters, the trip is "a wonderful opportunity for our young squad to observe and learn about Chinese culture during one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations in the world. We are also excited for the chance to share some American customs with the residents of Hong Kong." Oh, and 2015 is the year of the goat in the Chinese zodiac calendar -- which makes it even more perfect for the Broncos.