Paris Games to feature Breakdancing an Olympic sport now as organisers look to attract younger audience

In Paris Olympic Games in 2024, 4 sports have got the green light to be part, and Breakdancing is one of them. IOC President Thomas Bach said on Monday, the International Olympic Committee ratified the inclusion of breakdancing along with surfing, skateboarding, and sports climbing.

The move from the International Olympic Committee comes at a time when the Games is looking to refresh the sports program in a bid to remain relevant to sponsors, broadcasters and younger fans. The move comes after the International Olympic Committee’s new rule which allows host cities to pick and propose new games that are popular in the region.

What is breakdancing?

Breakdancing or ‘breaking’, as participants would like to call it emerged in the 1970s in the United States. It has emerged into one of the major forms of hip-hop culture. Breakdancing has now spread beyond the United States, with one million participants estimated to have taken up the sport.

The 2019 Red Bull BC One World Final in Mumbai racked up more than 50 million views across streaming platforms including Facebook and YouTube, according to Reuters.

Key elements in breaking include top rocks — typically a competitor’s introductory dance moves — footwork, power moves, and freezes. Power moves are explosive displays such as spins, while freezes are when a performer sticks a pose.

In a blend of artistry and athleticism, competitors — known as “b-boys” and “b-girls” — are evaluated not only on the technical skill but also creativity and style, with strength, speed, rhythm, and agility providing an edge.

“With this programme, we are making the Olympic Games Paris 2024 fit for the post-corona world. We are further reducing the cost and complexity of hosting the Games. There is also a strong focus on youth,” IOC president Bach said.

Meanwhile, the IOC also limited the total athlete quote for the Paris Games to be exactly 10,500 which is 500 less than the recent Olympic Games. Also, there will be equal representation of men and women athletes in the Paris Games. It’s 48.8 percentage for women at the Tokyo Games, which has been postponed to 2021 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Weightlifting and boxing, meanwhile, saw the biggest cuts in terms of the number of athletes the two sports can have at the Paris Games.

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