Breakdancing is poised to make its debut at the summer Olympic Games after Paris 2024 today (Thursday) named it as one of four proposed additional sports for its event.
Breakdancing, which falls under the banner of the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), has been put forward alongside skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. The three latter sports are set to make their Olympic debuts at Tokyo 2020, making breakdancing the only new entry.
The package of four sports will now be considered by the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board in March. Should they approve the package, the sports will then be submitted to the IOC Session for final approval during meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland from June 24-26.
Breaking made its Olympic debut last year at the summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, but its inclusion on the Paris 2024 programme would be the first time any DanceSport discipline has appeared at an Olympic Games. Breaking received a warm reception at the YOG, with this being interpreted as a key reason behind its elevation to Olympic status.
Speaking today, Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet said the four proposed sports fit the organisers’ desire to “connect to the sports that connect all over the world to bring to the Games a more urban dimension, more sport of nature, more artistic”.
Today’s announcement sees the other two sports added to the Tokyo 2020 programme – baseball/softball and karate – removed for Paris 2024, while it also deals another crushing blow to squash. Squash applied for inclusion at the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympics but was unsuccessful on each occasion. It had been seeking inclusion in Paris and last week launched a new campaign to support its candidacy.
Reacting to today’s announcement, the World Squash Federation (WSF) and Professional Squash Association (PSA) expressed their “great disappointment”. The two bodies added in a statement: “The proposed list of four sports only, of which three sports are already confirmed by the IOC on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic programme, leads to a belief that Paris 2024 and the IOC favoured sports already in the Olympic programme, leaving practically no opportunity for other sports.”