Breaking, commonly known as breakdancing, has become the latest new-wave Olympic sport that will be featured at the 2024 Summer Games in Paris bringing more visibility and opportunity to the sport.
The official announcement was made on Monday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The committee hopes the new event will bring more interest and a younger audience to the games.
IOC President Thomas Bach applauded the addition that, he said, will make the Summer Games “more gender-balanced, more youthful and more urban," reported USA Today.
“We’ve had a clear priority to introduce sports, which are particularly popular among the younger generations. And also to take into account the urbanization of the sport," he said.
Breakdancing will be called “breaking,” at the Olympics, as it was called in the 1970s by hip hop pioneers in the United States, USA Today reported.
Paris organizers first introduced breaking after positive trials at the 2018 Summer Youth Games in Buenos Aires, CBS News reported. It passed further stages of approval in 2019 from separate decisions by the IOC board and full membership.
In Paris, breaking will be given a prestigious downtown venue, joining sport climbing and three-on-three basketball at Place de le Concord.
Although it will be new to the Olympic line-up, breaking has been at the center of international events for more than a decade.
Victor Montalvo, known professionally as B-boy Victor, described breaking to USA Today as a “sport slash art,” that combines the physical demands of high-intensity dancing and acrobatics with a creative outlet such as, painting.
“Back in the Bronx, when it [breaking] first started it was always neighborhoods of kids just battling each other,” said the 26-year-old dancer. “Now, it’s big-stage competitions and people flying all over the world, battling the best of the best.”
A typical breaking competition consists of one-on-one battles, with three rounds apiece. Each battle features alternating flips, spins, kicks and freezes in which one dancer breaks for about 30 to 45 seconds, and the other dancer responds. A panel of judges selects a winner to advance to the next round, the newspaper cited.
Montalvo added: “We’re like painting on the dance floor and making our own figures and shapes.”