❖ Breaking is officially confirmed to debut in the Paris Olympics Games 2024 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
❖ The Australian Breaking Association was formed as the recognised body to represent the national Breaking community and help facilitate Australia’s official Olympic competitors.
❖ The Olympics will be using the term “Breaking” when competitors take to the floor in Paris, rather than breakdance.
❖ The Australian Breaking Association’s aim is to keep promoting Breaking as a sport, but also maintain its roots as an artform and culture, and grow a healthy community.
❖ Breaking as an Olympic sport has quickly become a contested topic on whether it belongs on the Olympic stage or not.
Geneva, Switzerland – in a press conference on Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially confirmed Breaking as a new sport in the 2024 Paris Games, alongside skateboarding, climbing and surfing. These new sports are part of the Olympics’ objectives to be more gender-inclusive and to appeal to the youth demographic.
The Australian Breaking Association (ABA) was formed in 2019 to help the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) facilitate Australian representation at the Paris Games and find the top Breaking contenders who will compete for Australia.
Breaking will be the official term used at the Olympics to describe what is known to the general public as “breakdancing”.
“The ABA and the worldwide Breaking community are excited to see Breaking officially debuting in the 2024 Olympic Games”, says Lowe Napalan, the ABA president and co-founder. “With Breaking about to receive an explosion of media recognition from its inclusion in the Paris Games, the ABA’s goal is to represent the
future of this sport and artform for Australia: we will nurture the top Aussie contenders for Olympic representation, and maintain Breaking’s roots as an artform and culture. We aim to use this opportunity to grow and reach the youth while maintaining a healthy community.”
Not everyone is feeling the same way. There has already been enormous backlash on social media against the IOC’s decision to include Breaking in the Olympics, mainly due to its legitimacy as an actual sport. However, Australia’s top Breakers are defending the Olympic decision by pointing out Breaking’s high level of required athleticism. “Breaking is extremely athletic”, says Australia’s number one ranked female Breaker Dr. Rachael Gunn. “It requires a huge level of strength, balance, stamina, fitness, and body awareness, along with conveying your own individual originality, style and self-expression.”
Many Breaking events in Australia were postponed or cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, they are slowly reappearing as restrictions ease. Australia’s biggest Breaking competition, Destructive Steps, had their 12th annual event last weekend in Sydney on Dec 5th, and a crew competition, Uprock Breaking Jam, was held the weekend before on Nov 29th. Upcoming events include the Ryugi Breaking Battles in December, and the ABA will be launching their national online Breaking series in January which will provide points for Olympic ranking.
If you are interested in finding out more about the culture, learning Breaking, or becoming a participant, please get in touch with the ABA and they can direct you to relevant dancers and organisations in your local area.