If you hate regular sports but love the Olympics, here’s one for you: breakdancing will be added to the roster of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the announcement on Monday in a bid to lure younger audiences to the event. Nobody’s denying that breakdancing is sick, but it’s not exactly the first thing one things of when trying to relate to young people nowadays, either.
“We had a clear priority to introduce sports [that are] particularly popular among the younger generation and taking into consideration the urbanisation of sport,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.
The sport was actually first trialled at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. Australia didn’t enter a team in that particular event.
In addition to breakdancing (officially called “breaking”, apparently), sport climbing and skateboarding will also make their debut at the 2024 games.
While it seems like a fun and harmless addition, even if it is a bit unexpected, quite a few athletes from other sports are actually pretty pissed.
“You just look at the whole thing and you just go ‘where’s the Olympics going?’ I know some people say breakdancing’s a sport but […] I don’t understand,” Aussie squash world champion Michelle Martin told AAP.
She’s right to be upset, given that sports like squash, netball and cross country have been overlooked by the IOC for years in favour of spots like BMX, surfing, golf and the Chinese martial art wushu. Plenty of other athletes said the same thing on Twitter.
Ideally, there’d be room for all of them. The more the merrier, right?
That said, there’s no denying breaking isn’t just as athletic and tricky – if not more – than plenty of other Olympic sports.
“The training that we undergo is pretty much on par with what you see with other sports, and that is thing that people don’t really see,” Australian Breaking Association president Lowe Napalan told The Sydney Morning Herald.
He added that the announcement this week was “a huge relief”.
For the rest of us, it’s another quirky but high-energy sport that will undoubtedly be a hoot to watch after dinner when there’s nothing else on TV.