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The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) warmly welcomes today’s decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session to include Breaking on the sports programme of the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
Breaking made its Olympic debut last year at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, but its inclusion on the Paris 2024 programme is the first time any DanceSport discipline has appeared at an Olympic Games. The 2024 Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in the French capital from 26 July to 11 August.
“Today is a historic day for the DanceSport community and the discipline of Breaking,” said WDSF President Shawn Tay. “We are sure Breaking will be an outstanding success in Paris and will add lots of energy, athletic excellence, innovation and youth appeal to the Olympic Games. WDSF, together with the Breaking community, is ready to collaborate closely with Paris 2024 and the IOC to make the Olympic dream of the world’s best b-boys and b-girls come true.”
Breaking, together with Skateboarding, Sport Climbing and Surfing were proposed in February by the Paris 2024 Organising Committee for inclusion at the XXXIII Olympiad. In March, the IOC Executive Board (EB) gave the green light to the proposal, which was then put to a vote by the IOC Session (the assembly of all IOC members), currently meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Paris 2024 organisers proposed the four sports in response to a new level of flexibility afforded to Olympic Games Host Cities to encourage innovation in the Olympic programme. Host Cities, beginning with Tokyo 2020, now have the option of suggesting new sports and events for inclusion in their edition of the Games that are not binding on future Games hosts.
“This is historic,” said b-boy Mounir, the Vagabond Crew member who joined the Paris 2024 delegation presenting at today’s IOC Session. “We were humble, but we never doubted. A pessimist never changed the world. We started from nothing, we learned how to make more with less, we believed in the impossible and today the impossible becomes possible.”
Skateboarding, Sport Climbing and Surfing were also included on the programme for Tokyo 2020, making Breaking the only new sport currently being considered for the 2024 programme. A competition format featuring 16 b-boys and 16 b-girls is anticipated for Paris 2024.
The final decision on Breaking’s inclusion at Paris 2024 will only be taken after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in December 2020. In the meantime, the IOC will have a monitoring programme in place that will look at the performance, management, governance and integrity of each of the four sports.
Today’s thumbs up by the IOC Session recognises the worldwide appeal and growth of Breaking, as exemplified by the success of Breaking’s three medal events at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, where upwards of 30,000 people came each day to see the competition.
The 2019 WDSF World Breaking Championship, held just two days ago in Nanjing, China, was hailed as an outstanding success as well. Over 150 b-boys and b-girls from 66 countries, including some of the biggest names in Breaking, competed in the event, which also served as qualifier for the Breaking competition at the first edition of the World Urban Games (WUG) in September in Budapest, Hungary. The qualification events for the WDSF World Championship in Nanjing were conducted by WDSF National Member Federations.