Breakdancing, Surfing And Skateboarding; The Olympics Just Got Cooler
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
The Olympics could be getting hip with the times as organisers of the 2024 Paris Olympics have announced their proposal to include breakdancing as a new sport.
Breakdancing, along with surfing, climbing and skateboarding, will be proposed to the International Olympic Committee for the 2024 Paris Games.
Squash, billiards and chess are among the unsuccessful sports which campaigned for inclusion in the Paris Games.
With breakdancing included in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018, the sport stands a solid chance of being included in the Paris Games. The IOC will consider the proposal and must make a decision by December 2020.
Tony Estanguet, a three-time canoeing Olympic champion and head of the Paris 2024 organising committee, believes the inclusion of these new sports will make the Olympics “more urban” and “more artistic”. (BBC)
Sergei Chernyshev, who competed under the nickname Bumblebee for Russia, won the first breakdancing – known as ‘breaking’ – gold medal for boys at last year’s Youth Olympics, while Japan’s Ramu Kawei won the girls’ title.
The format for the Youth Olympics saw competitors engage in head-to-head ‘battles’ and it is reported that this format would be used in Paris if the sport’s bid is successful.
Team GB had no breaking competitors at the Youth Olympics but a spokesperson said:
“We look forward to welcoming all new sports into the Olympic Games and will work with the relevant bodies to develop our relationships at the appropriate time.
“Although we did not compete in what was an invitational event at the recent Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, we did witness the popularity of breakdancing among fans there.”
For some, the potential inclusion of breakdancing in the Olympics may prompt sniggers, or for squash fans, pure outrage. However, there are many that feel that recognising breakdancing as an Olympic sport will give it much-needed credibility and perhaps even funding. Paco Boxy, the face of British breakdancing, explained:
“A lot of people will look at breakdancing as just spinning on your head or doing the worm,” he said, “but the people that I know train like athletes. They go to the gym swimming, train every day. For this to go in the Olympics is massive.”
The 21st Century is well underway and the world, including the world of sport, has undoubtedly changed drastically since the modern Olympics’ inception in 1896. Recognising this with the inclusion of new, and undoubtedly popular, sports such as breakdancing, surfing and skating is intended to boost the youth appeal of the ‘adult’ Olympics.