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WDSF statement on Breaking at the Olympic Games 15/02/2022

Olympic Rings Following considerable engagement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organisers of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and recent engagement beginning last year with Los Angeles 2028, the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) wishes to clarify the next steps on Breaking’s Olympic journey.

With regard to Breaking’s possible inclusion on the Olympic sport programme for LA28, the procedure for the evaluation of potential new sports proposed by the local organisers has not yet been finalized. The WDSF expects to receive, along with all other potential additional sports, further information on the timelines and requirements in March/April this year.

As our National Member Bodies will know, Breaking was included at Paris 2024 as one of four additional sports proposed by the local organising committee as part of an IOC-led, city-based initiative to enhance the Olympic programme by making it more inclusive, gender-balanced and youth-centred.

Paris 2024 submitted its proposal to the IOC to integrate four new sports into its edition of the Games only – Breaking, Sport Climbing, Skateboarding, and Surfing – that are closely associated with youth and reward creativity and athletic performance.

While Sport Climbing, Skateboarding, and Surfing (which all made their Olympic debuts at Tokyo 2020 last summer) have subsequently been included in the list of 28 core sports for LA28, Breaking has to reapply to be considered as an additional sport for the 2028 Olympic Games as it has not yet appeared at an Olympic Games.

The WDSF has established a Committee consisting of representatives from our USA, French & Australian member bodies to be part of this important process and to help reinforce the media, demographic and commercial value of our case for Breaking’s inclusion at LA28 and subsequently the Olympic Games Brisbane 2032. A final decision by LA28 and the IOC is expected to be taken by mid-2023.

The WDSF believes that Breaking would be an excellent choice for LA28 and beyond, as it requires no new facilities to be built, can be organized almost anywhere, has a low athlete quota (32 in total) and adds significant sporting and commercial value.

“The WDSF has and will continue to advocate for the inclusion of Breaking at LA28 and looks forward to working with the IOC and local organizing committee further in the months ahead,” said WDSF President Shawn Tay. “The United States is the birthplace of Breaking and it would be a dream come true for so many to see it added to the sport programme for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The WDSF is ready, willing and able to help make it a reality.”

We can also confirm that WDSF and our Australian member body, DanceSport Australia Limited, have also already started to make connections with the organisers of the Olympic Games Brisbane 2032. In WDSF’s opinion, the opportunities for all athletes, the city hosts, the IOC all WDSF member bodies will be significant.

PARIS 2024 QUALIFYING

With regard to the qualification process for Breaking’s Olympic debut at Paris 2024, the WDSF has been working in close collaboration with the IOC to develop a system that is fair and inclusive for all b-boys and b-girls worldwide that also increases engagement on TV and digital channels in the lead-up to the Games.

The WDSF has already signed off on the format and structure of the qualification process and hopes to share the details, together with the IOC, with the Breaking community and our National Member Bodies in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, the WDSF has been busy preparing for Breaking’s inclusion at the World Games 2022 in Birmingham this 7-17 July and at the next Asian Games, in Hangzhou, China, from 10-25 September. In addition, Breaking is set to feature at the 2023 European Olympic Games in Poland and at the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Senegal.

The opportunities and challenges are enormous, and although there are no guarantees for inclusion in further Olympic Games after Paris 2024, the WDSF is working hard to make it happen in the interest of all athletes, all Members and the entire DanceSport community.