Breakdancing to debut at Paris 2024 Olympics: ‘A historic occasion’

Francis Akhalbey December 09, 2020
Breakdancing originated among African American and Latino youths in NYC between the 1960s and 1970s -- Photo Credit: Ville Miettinen

Breakdancing will soon be an Olympic sport, and b-boys and b-girls – as they’re commonly referred to – will have the chance to “battle” it out against each other for the gold after officials on Monday announced the popular street dance will officially debut at Paris 2024.

According to CNN, the street dance, which was successfully debuted at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in 2018, will be the first DanceSport event to ever feature in the Olympic Games. Other sports including skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were also confirmed for Paris.

“Today is a historic occasion, not only for b-boys and b-girls but for all dancers around the world,” Shawn Tay, president of the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), said in a statement in response to the announcement. “The WDSF could not be prouder to have Breaking included at Paris 2024, and we thank everyone who helped make it possible: the Executive Board of the IOC, the Paris 2024 organisers, the WDSF staff and, most importantly, the Breaking community itself.

“It was a true team effort to get to this moment and we will redouble our efforts in the lead-up to the Olympic Games to make sure the Breaking competition at Paris 2024 will be unforgettable.”

For Paris 2024, the competition will feature 16 b-boys as well as 16 b-girls competing against each other in one vs one battles, CNN reported. The competition, which was introduced to lure young spectators, was given the all-clear following its huge patronage in Buenos Aires as the event attracted daily crowds of over 30,000 people.

“It is with immense joy and a touch of relief that we welcome this unprecedented decision,” Mounir Biba, a French b-boy said. “It is a big step forward and a historical moment. Starting from nothing 50 years ago, Breaking was built on its own but it has now found a family.  It only remains for us to live up to the honour bestowed upon us, but I am fully confident we will.

“There are many passionate people on the ground around the world doing a tremendous job every day to nurture and preserve the culture of Breaking. The sporting journey that we are on will only strengthen the position that I have always defended, namely that we are athletes!”

The competition will be known as breaking at the Olympics.

Gaining prominence in New York City between the 1960s and 1970s, breaking, as it was originally known, reportedly originated among African American and Latino youths. Per Red Bull:

Breakdancing is thought to be inspired by the performances of James Brown. Street corner DJs would take the breaks of dance records and string them together to give dancers a chance to show off their moves. Breakers would choose elements from sports and other dances, including gymnastics, the Lindy Hop, capoeira, and disco.

Kool Herc, a popular Jamaican DJ, is credited for creating the breaking technique in songs the b-boys and b-girls danced to back then.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 9, 2020


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