You read that right, Paris organizers are trying to get breakdancing to be added as an official Olympic sport for the 2024 summer games. The effort was brought forth to the International Olympic Committee in a greater attempt to make the games more youthful, urban and gender balanced. 

“The Paris organizing committee also wants to include climbing, surfing and skateboarding, which are already on the roster for the 2020 Tokyo Games,” Jake Cigainero reported for NPR. “Karate will also make its Olympic debut in Tokyo, but Paris snubbed the sport for its lineup.”

Along with all the sports mentioned above, breakdancing was a part of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires 2018. The competition involved a b-boy, b-girl, and mixed team category for judging, the technical name of the sport is also referred to as “breaking” for official Olympic purposes. The judgement and competition would be very similar to what it was in the Youth Olympics. Competitors will be paired and individually scored based on their “breaking battle” on the Olympic floor. The individual winner moves on to face whoever won from another pairing, and the process continues until there are only two competitors left to score.

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The unique element of breaking that would set it so far apart from other Olympic sports is how heavily emphasized competitiveness is in the realm of hip hop dance. As one individual is taking their turn on the breaking floor, it’s up to the competitor waiting for their turn to portray as much attitude and disinterest in the performer as possible. This element is unique to dance competitions everywhere especially in the hip hop category. Maintaining a competitive demeanor in and out of your performance allows for the whole entire performance to be cohesive, while also maintaining the street-roots of breaking.

The sport of breaking emphasizes the athletic, acrobatic, and creative skills of its athletes,  as well as a certain level of suspense and tension between the competitors that would be completely new and unique for the Olympics.

In order for breaking to be placed into the official games, the International Olympic Committee’s guidelines state that “The sports proposed by Paris 2024 must be reviewed by the Olympic Program Commission. A recommendation by the Commission will then be presented to the IOC Executive Board in March. If accepted, it will then be presented to the IOC Session. After the Session, and following any necessary observation at the Tokyo 2020 Games, the final event program and athlete quotas for the new sports will then be finalized.”

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If breaking was added as an official Olympic sport, it would be monumental not only for the breakdancing community, but the dance community in general. Paris alone has over one million practicing breakdancers within it, which will greatly benefit the decision making process since the Olympics will be held there. In addition, breaking holds strong roots in the United States, specifically New York, a hub of diverse dancers who have all been fighting for a chance for their brand of dance to be considered for Olympic recognition.

“It is an incredible honor and privilege that, for the first time, a dance discipline is being considered for inclusion in the Olympic Games,” said World Dance and Sport Federation President Shawn Tay, adding that breaking would be “an outstanding success” in Paris.

The dance community globally is rooting for this dream to become a reality, and hope it will become the first step of many more forms of dance being recognized and added to Olympic level competition. In addition, it would benefit the International Olympic Committee’s general goal of appealing to younger audiences, who are becoming progressively more disinterested in the traditional sports normally emphasized during the Olympic games. With the prospect of having breaking officially added to the sporting roster by 2024, the final details of this proposal most likely won’t be decided until after the 2020 games in Tokyo this upcoming summer.