GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - They motivate the team and use their energy and enthusiasm to boost morale and they came down to Guantanamo Bay on a C-12. No, it’s not a reference to your new supervisors, it’s the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders.
The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders came to pump up the troops and community for Super Bowl XLVI Feb. 5.
The cheerleaders started the day off the by teaching cheers and signing autographs at Denich Field. After the cheers Morale Welfare and Recreation held a small football focused sports competition that included punting and passing.
Lt. Andrew Phipps was one of the competitors in the contest and placed second overall.
“It was fun, there was a lot of friendly competition,” said Phipps. “Travis Gray came out to support me and hold the ball, but he ended up winning it, so I have to give a shout out to him.”
The cheerleaders then headed to O’kelly’s Irish Pub for a meet and greet and a pregame performance.
“This is my first year as a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader and its my first military tour, so its so amazing to come down here and meet the troops,” said Lara Ryans
This was the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders second invitation to Guantanamo Bay, but a first for the cheerleaders who were selected to travel to the base.
Jamie Quadrozzi, the entertainment and event coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, explained that the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have done tours for military in the past but they’ve never toured the same instillation back to back.
“This is the first time we’ve done a military tour and have been invited right back the next year,” said Quadrozzi. “It speaks volumes for what the girls did last year and hopefully we did a good enough job to be invited back next year.”
For the girls of the Miami cheerleaders traveling with the team is an earned privilege.
“We hand select the girls who get to travel, it’s a privilege,” said Jamie Quedrozzi. “There are 39 girls on the team and many girls will never get to travel, so they’re all very excited to be here.”
Some of the cheerleaders had a special connection to the island, such as Nicki Boston. Boston’s brother was stationed at Guantanamo Bay with the Navy.
“My brother was just based here last year, so to have this experience, to see what the troops go through and to hear it about it from my brother makes this a truly special experience for me,” said Boston.
Although the Super Bowl was between the Giants and Patriots, many Dolphin fans showed up to support the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders. One such fan was Spc. Justin Collins who missed the cheerleaders last year.
“It’s a great thing to see them down here having fun with everyone while we watch the Super Bowl,” said Collins “They were down here last year for the Super Bowl Sunday and I missed them by two days, so its feels good that I get to see them two days before I leave.”
The Super Bowl ended with a Giants victory and the community enjoyed the company of the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders during the game. But it was a give-give experience for the cheerleaders and Guantanamo Bay.
“We’ve been told everywhere we go ‘thank you for coming it does so much for our morale,” said Quadrozzi “But what they don’t understand is that its does so much for us too. We learn so much and meet amazing people who are volunteering time and risking their lives to keep us safe, so its not one sided at all. It works so well both ways.”