Breakdancing, which was a hit at the 2006 Buenos Aires Youth Summer Games, will connect with the younger generation, said IOC President Thomas Bach

By Ian Horswill

Posted on June 26, 2019

We have a lot to thank Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan and the 2006 breakdancing movie Step Up for.

The movie, which grossed US$114 million at the box office worldwide, spawned the 2008 film Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D (2010) and in 2012 Step Up 4 : Miami Heat.

More importantly it also raised the profile of breakdancing worldwide and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) has announced breakdancing has been “provisionally approved” for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

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Called breaking by die-hards and in the Olympic corridor of power, its medal debut was last October at the Buenos Aires Youth Summer Games. The street dance competitions will have 16 athletes in each of the men’s and women’s medal events in Paris, AP News reported.

Breaking was created by African American youth in the early seventies. The earliest breakdancing groups included the Zulu Kings and Clark Kent”. By the late seventies, the dance had begun to spread to other communities and was gaining wider popularity. It mainly consists of four kinds of movement: toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes.

IOC members formally endorsed requests from Paris officials in February and their own executive board in March to provisionally add breakdancing to the program, pending a final decision in December 2020.

Breakdancing is going to be a medal sport at Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Photo: Unsplash / Zac Ong
Breaking was a hit at the Bueonos Aires Youth Summer Games. Photo: Unsplash / Zac Ong

Paris wants to add four sports to its Olympic Games schedule. The other three skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing make their debuts in the Summer Games in Tokyo next year.

“The four sports that Paris has proposed are all totally in line with Olympic Agenda 2020 because they contribute to making the programme more gender balanced and more urban, and offer the opportunity to connect with the younger generation,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

“The proposed sports are in line with these principles and enhance Paris 2024’s overall dynamic Games concept, which focuses on inclusivity, inspiring a new audience and hosting socially responsible Games.”

Breaking will be an unquestionable hit with the audience at the stadium and across the world.

“It’s important for us in our concept to put sports out of the stadiums and in the heart of the city,” said Tony Estanguet, President of the 2024 Olympic Games.

Estanguet said the search for a venue will only start Wednesday (local time) now his fellow International Olympic Committee members have added their approval.

Breaking will likely also be attractive to 2028 Los Angeles Olympics organisers. The sports program for LA should be agreed in 2021, IOC sports director Kit McConnell said.

Surfing will spread the Paris Olympics out of the capital, potentially in the south-west French city of Biarritz, with sailing races already set for Marseille.