Breakdancing, also known as breaking, reached a critical milestone Wednesday on its path to inclusion at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board recommended the sport to the IOC Session in June.
Along with the sports of climbing, skateboarding and surfing – breaking will need a rubberstamping by the body of IOC members when they gather in Lausanne, Switzerland if it hopes to appear at the Olympics for the first time.
The sports will then enter a “monitoring program” to examine fundamentals such as integrity, refereeing and judging to ensure they are ready for the sport program in 2024.
Climbing, skateboarding and surfing are already one-time additions to the Tokyo 2020 program, and their performance at that event will be scrutinized. The other Tokyo 2020 addition, baseball/softball, is not being considered for Paris.
Breaking was proposed as a new sport by the Paris 2024 organizing committee because of its cultural connection to France and its appeal to young people. It can be easily staged in an urban outdoor setting, and it complies with Olympic Agenda 2020.
IOC President Thomas Bach said following the Executive Board meeting that formed the recommendations “all four are in line with Olympic Agenda by contributing to making the Olympic program more gender-balanced, more youthful and more urban.”
“It is a very authentic expression,” Bach said of breaking,”you feel with every performance the personality of the athletes, it is not just delivering an exercise, it is expressing yourself.”
The results of the monitoring program will be examined by the program commission in November 2020 and a report will be delivered to the IOC Executive Board. The final decision to include any or all of the sports will be made at a December 2020 Executive Board meeting.
Breaking caught the attention of Paris organizers after it became a successful fan-favourite at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Both breaking and climbing made their Olympic debuts at those Games while surfing and skateboarding will make their first Olympic appearances next year in Tokyo.