Organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympics want to add a new sport to the games. Straight from the streets of New York City, breakdancing appeals to young audiences. But whether this athletic dance makes the International Olympic Committee cut as a sport remains to be seen.
Last week, Paris organizers proposed a 2024 debut for breakdancing. “Breakers” (the name for breakdancers) hail the move as a milestone that will boost breakdancing's global influence—and its acceptance as a bona fide competitive sport.
"It's a victory for us. Even if it goes no further, we'll still have won," says Mounir Biba, one of the leading breakdancers in France.
In competitive breakdancing, breakers—alone or in teams—face off against each other in "battles." They take turns showing off an array of imaginative and acrobatic moves. A judging panel picks the winner.
"There's simply no doubt about the athletic aspects of the discipline," says Biba, fielding questions about how breaking qualifies as a sport.
"I defy Cristiano Ronaldo [Portuguese soccer player] to do just one of my movements," he says.
Also on Paris organizers’ wish list are climbing, surfing, and skateboarding. Those three will make their Olympic debuts at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Tony Estanguet, head of the Paris organizing committee, says the 2024 committee wants "to connect the games to their era." Organizers note the proposed sports have broad appeal to young people as well as large audiences on social media.
Paris organizers also aim to offer more opportunities for participation at the 2024 Games. That could include allowing spectators to compete virtually against Olympians by riding a stationary bike and comparing their performances against Olympic cyclists. Or organizers might hold a public marathon on the Olympic route—an event sure to remind non-Olympians that “all the runners run, but only one receives the prize.” (1 Corinthian 9:24)
What do you think about adding breakdancing, climbing, surfing, and skateboarding?
(Picture taken with a long exposure of Jannis Bednarzik performing during the 2017 German Breakdance Championships. AP Photo/Jens Meyer)