From now on competitive breakdancing will be the sparkling new attraction at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Confirming this, the International Olympic Committee as part of plans by the president, Thomas Bach, to make the Games “more gender balanced, more youthful and more urban”. Surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing, which are part of next year’s Tokyo Games, will also be included at Paris 2024.
Breakdancing – or breaking as it is known – evolved in New York in the 1960s and 70s as a way for rival street gangs to fight for turf. It made its Olympic debut at the 2018 Summer Youth Games in Buenos Aires. The IOC has confirmed it will be staged at a prestigious downtown venue, joining sport climbing and 3-on-3 basketball at Place de la Concorde.
The news was greeted with delight by the British breakdancer Karam Singh. “It’s going to be great for breaking as it gives us more recognition as a sport,” he said. “And for the Olympics, it will attract young people who may not follow some of the traditional sports.”
While many involved in breaking were happy, some expressed concerns that the sport – which is influenced by a variety of sources such as gymnastics, tap dance, capoeira and kung fu – may lose its authenticity by becoming part of the Olympic movement.