News & Events, Sports

Breakdancing is becoming an Olympic sport, but not everyone’s psyched about it

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Jan 20, 2021

Yes, you heard that right: Breakdancing, also known as breaking, will be considered an Olympic sport In 2024.


Last month’s announcement made it official, breaking will be included in the 2024 Summer Games taking place in Paris. This inclusion comes after a wave of unconventional sports joined the Olympic program such as climbing, skateboarding, and surfing—all of these debuting in Tokyo this summer.


“These four sports also offer the opportunity to connect with the young generation,” announced the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, adding that this move will make the Summer Games “more gender-balanced, more youthful and more urban.” Though breaking is categorized as a style of dance, it more easily lends itself to the world of sports because it is inherently competitive.


Much of the breaking community has embraced the news of its inclusion at the Olympics with joy, some have expressed concerns about breaking’s culture being co-opted by bigger systems, fearing that along the way, the dance’s authenticity and street spirit will be lost. Some fear that Olympic judges might come to value technical elements of the dance and difficulties over other intangible qualities that make breaking unique—like passion and originality.


Clearly, we won’t know whether that will happen or not, and eventually, we will be able to assess whether this move was the right one for breaking and its community. But for now, we can rejoice in this historic shift in the Olympic games, and marvel at the potential that lays ahead.


Photo via picture alliance/Everett Collection/Magnolia Pictures