What's buzzing:

Mother of 2 makes NFL cheerleading squad at age 40

AP - Sports
Mother of 2 makes NFL cheerleading squad at age 40
.

View gallery

New Orleans Saints Saintsation Kriste Lewis poses for a photograph at the NFL football team's training …

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- She hadn't done splits and high kicks since her cheerleading days in high school, but 40-year-old dance instructor Kriste Lewis set a lofty goal: to try out for the New Orleans Saints cheerleading squad, known as the Saintsations.

Faced with competition from women who mostly ranged in age from 18 to 28, Lewis never thought she'd make the team. And then, she did.

''I wanted to set a goal for myself, and the audition was a specific date that required specific training, so my goal was just to make it to the audition,'' said Lewis, who lives with her husband and two sons in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, about 100 miles northeast of New Orleans. ''Honestly, I really did not think I was going to make it.''

Lewis is one of only two NFL cheerleaders in her 40s, and she's the oldest to ever audition for the Saintsations, said Lesslee Fitzmorris, director of the squad since 2001. The other dancer is 45-year-old Laura Vikmanis, who has been with the Cincinnati Bengals dance team, the Ben-Gals, since making the squad at age 40.

''The applications hadn't been processed when the dance auditions started, so the judges didn't even know Kriste was 40 until she had made it through three rounds of cuts and revealed her age in the interview round,'' Fitzmorris said.

Something besides her age sets Lewis apart. A big part of her motivation was her will to make the most of every day since being diagnosed with a debilitating kidney disease that will eventually lead to dialysis treatments and the need for a kidney transplant. Several family members have died of the disease, and her mother has already undergone dialysis and a kidney transplant that her body twice rejected.

Lewis said she had to have her doctor's permission to join the 36-member Saintsations.

''I know my time is limited,'' Lewis said. ''I don't want to let any time go. I want to make every day count.''

Lewis will take the field with the Saintsations when the New Orleans Saints play their first exhibition game of the season Aug. 15 at the Superdome against the Tennessee Titans.

''I can't wait to get on that field,'' she said. ''Just being able to put a cheerleading uniform back on and go at it for my favorite team is unbelievable to me, and I'm having a blast.''

View Comments (15)
  • Angels official on relationship between Mike Scioscia and Jerry Dipoto: 'Looks irreparable'

    Angels official on relationship between Mike Scioscia and Jerry Dipoto: 'Looks irreparable'

    The Angels' manager and GM aren't getting along again, and this time owner Arte Moreno might need to decide between them. … More »

    Yahoo Sports - 2 minutes 24 seconds ago
  • Cycling-Leading Tour de France contenders

    PARIS, July 1 (Reuters) - Factbox on the main contenders in the Tour de France, which starts on Saturday in Utrecht, Netherlands: Nairo Quintana, Colombia Team: Movistar Age: 25 Best results 2015: Tirreno Adriatico (1st), Tour of the Basque country … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 39 seconds ago
  • Cycling-Doping scandals on the Tour de France

    A look at major doping scandals involving the Tour de France since the Festina affair in 1998: * 1998: Festina medical team member Willy Voet was arrested at the French border before the start of the Tour after customs officers seized banned … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 44 seconds ago
  • Moreland hits 2 HRs to lead Rangers past Orioles 8-6

    Moreland hits 2 HRs to lead Rangers past Orioles 8-6

    Mitch Moreland hit two home runs in a second straight game, and the Texas Rangers celebrated the return of Josh Hamilton by defeating the Baltimore Orioles 8-6 on Tuesday night. Shin-Soo Choo and Robinson Chirinos also went deep for the Rangers, … More »

    AP - Sports - 4 minutes 50 seconds ago
  • Cycling-Morabito polishes French diamond ahead of Tour

    By Julien Pretot PARIS, July 1 (Reuters) - Steve Morabito rode in the service of Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador, and helped Cadel Evans in the Australian's successful Tour de France challenge in 2011. The Swiss is now Thibaut Pinot's … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 54 seconds ago