Organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympics have called for breakdancing to be added as an official sport.
Paris organizers also proposed Thursday that climbing, surfing and skateboarding be included in the 2024 Paris Olympics. These three sports were already approved for inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the organization that decides which events to include. It is expected to decide on which sports to add in Paris after next year’s Tokyo Games.
The head of the Paris organizing committee, Tony Estanguet, announced the choices. The committee rejected proposals for several other sports, including baseball, karate and squash.
Estanguet said the choices were an attempt to produce a modern Olympics to inspire new crowds and appeal to young people. Breakdancing is an example of a sport “which can be played anywhere and anytime in urban and other environments,” he said.
The four proposed sports “perfectly” represent Paris 2024's identity,” Estanguet added.
Organizers said inclusion of the four sports would not require additional competition space to be built in Paris. However, it would add 248 Olympic competitors, including 32 breakdancers.
In competitive breakdancing, “breakers” face off in “battles” against each other, either as individuals or teams. The battles give competitors the chance to show off their best dance moves. Breakdancers use a mix of physical and artistic skills that often combine elements from gymnastics or acrobatics.
Shawn Tay is the president of the World DanceSport Federation. He told the French Press Agency AFP he found the decision a great honor for the world of dance. He said it was a “humbling experience” to learn that for the first time, a form of dance is being considered for inclusion in the Olympic Games.
Breakdancing was included in the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in the form of head-to-head battles. Russia's Sergei Chernyshev, who competed under the name Bumblebee, won the first breakdancing gold medal for boys in the event. Japanese breaker Ramu Kawai won the top female honors.
Tony Estanguet said Paris organizers are also aiming to open up more events for the public to take part – both in Paris and virtually around the world. He said this could include organizing a public running race involving both Olympians and the public at the same time.
Organizers are also exploring connected technology that might let fans cyber compete against Olympians. That could include riding a stationary bike at home and comparing that performance to the cyclists competing in the Olympic races.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story based on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. was the editor.
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Words in This Story
inspire – v.make someone feel that they want to do something and can do it
urban – adj.belonging to or relating to a town or city
acrobatics – n.the activity of performing difficult physical acts
humbling – adj.feeling less important, less proud
virtually – adv.existing or occurring on computers or the internet