INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Colts cheerleaders add something extra to game days! These ladies stay busy off the field too, both at Colts events and in their lives outside of the Colts.
Many on the squad are from Indiana and grew up dreaming of being on the field someday. Others are here from half a world away.
“The Colts organization has been amazing,” said Ayda, who’s in her third year with the Colts.
Ayda grew up in Istanbul and was trained as a dancer and classical pianist.
After attending Hanover College in Indiana, she felt something was missing in the day-to-day grind.
“When I looked into the Colts cheer program and really understood what it was about, it truly felt like it truly felt like the perfect fit,” Ayda said.
Now she’s able to continue her love of dancing and giving back to the community.
Outside of the horseshoe, Ayda’s day-job is a black belt project manager.
“The projects vary in nature,” Ayda said. “They can be reducing cost, improving product efficiency, figuring out ways to expand our share in a market.”
In the horseshoe is where she met Lori, who’s now in her second year on the Colts cheer squad.
“It’s like a dream I didn’t know I had, but once I had it I never want to let it go,” Lori said.
Lori is from Franklin and grew up in a family of Colts fans.
“It’s absolutely breathtaking when you walk onto that field,” Lori said. “Everyone tells you, ‘Just take a moment and take it all in,’ and I do that every single same.”
Lori’s road has not been an easy one, battling Crohn’s Disease since she was 14-years-old.
“I was that kid in the hospital bed at Riley,” Lori said.
Now, Lori is a pediatric registered nurse at Riley Hospital for Children, working in organ transplant, neurosurgery and neurology, treating those who are now where she once was.
She’s open about her health battles to ultimately help others.
“I wake up, I always tell myself, I want to make a difference, I want to inspire someone today, but I go to work, and I leave and I feel like I’m the one who has gotten inspired by my patients,” Lori said.
Two talented women, setting an example for others to dream big and work hard.