IOC is aiming for ‘more gender balanced and youthful’ games
Competitions we have been seeing in movies like Step Up are about to become an Olympic event. Competitive breakdancing becomes the latest addition at the 2024 Olympics which will be held in Paris.
The news was announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday, after its president, Thomas Bach, wanted to make the games “more gender balanced, more youthful and more urban.” Other new games include surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing.
Events that will be limited
Breakdancing or breaking came to be in early 1960s New York as a means for rival street gangs to battle it out for turfs. It’s Olympic debut was at the 2018 Summer Youth Games in Buenos Aires. The IOC added that it’s going to be staged at a prestigious downtown venue, just as sport climbing and 3-on-3 basketball at Place de la Concorde.
British breakdancer Karam Singh said that it’s great for breaking to now be recognized more as a sport. Adding it to the Olympics will attract more youngsters who may not be interested in the traditional sports it had till now. While most who were linked to breaking was happy, some expressed their concerns as well since it was inspired by many other sources such as tap dance, gymnastics, Kung Fu, and capoeira – might lose its authenticity if it becomes an Olympic event.
Since it’s adding newer sports, the IOC has cut down the categories for weightlifting and boxing, and rejected some other new events such as mixed relay cross-country athletics and coastal rowing. The overall athlete quota has also been brought down to 10,500. IOC has also suspended the Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko from the Tokyo Olympics after numerous allegations of athletes being tortured, arrested and beaten for speaking out against his re-election in August.
(Cover: Eitan Abramovich/AFP)