Breakdancing Is Now an Olympic Sport

Skateboarding, surfing will also be on the Paris roster
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2020 1:51 PM CST
Breakdancing Is Now an Olympic Sport
Winner Hong-Yeol "Hong10" Kim of South Korea performs a breakdance move during the BC One breakdancing world finals, in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Old notions of what constitutes an Olympic sport are going to be turned on their head and spun around at the Paris 2024 Games. Breakdancing became an official Olympic sport Monday, and skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing were added to the Paris roster, the AP reports. The latter three sports will make their Olympic debuts when the delayed Tokyo games are held next year. When breaking—as it will be called at the Olympics—was first proposed for the Paris games last year, Tony Estanguet, head of the organizing committee, said new sports would make the Olympics "more artistic," Sports Illustrated reports. "It's going to be great for breaking as it gives us more recognition as a sport," British breakdancer Karam Singh tells the BBC. "And for the Olympics, it will attract young people who may not follow some of the traditional sports."

Breaking was a sport at the 2018 Youth Olympics, where competitors were judged on personality, technique, variety, creativity, performativity, and musicality, per SI. "The biggest part is your stage presence and character and your rhythm, whether or not you’re really feeling it,” competitive breaker Ronnie Abaldonado tells Reuters. "People can hit the moves but if you’re not feeling what they’re doing then you just kind of look robotic and that’s what kind of separates it being a sport to it being an art form." The AP notes that breaking will take place at the Place de Concorde in Paris, while surfing events will happen in a very different part of France—French Polynesia, specifically Tahiti, more than 15,000 miles away. (More Olympics stories.)

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