If you can spin on your head, windmill with the best of them and do the robot like a, well, machine, then you can now compete for a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games. On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee voted to add break dancing to the program slated for 2018 in Buenos Aires.
Open to 14-to-18-year-olds, the break dancing competition will be contested in what the IOC called a “battle format.” The IOC didn’t elaborate on what exactly that might entail, but if it’s anything like the Red Bull BC One World tournament, one of competitive break dancing’s top contests, it’ll be pretty entertaining.
In the final, eventual winner Issei Hori, 19, faced off against his opponent Hong 10, a 31-year-old Korean, on a single stage. The two attempted to psych each other out, before taking turns showing off their skills.
According to the IOC, there will be medal events for boys, girls and mixed teams.
Sport climbing and kumite karate events — two sports that will also be medal events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — will be contested at the Youth Olympics Games, as well.
“The three new sports reflect the IOC’s and Buenos Aires 2018’s shared goal of building youth engagement, and thus represent a mix of emerging, universal and urban sports with a significant youth appeal,” the IOC said in a statement.
As to whether break dancing, which is overseen by the World DanceSport Federation, might become an Olympic sport at the senior level, that remains a question. However, with this third edition of the Youth Olympic Games set to be “an incubator and . . . place of innovation for the Olympic Movement,” as the IOC said on Tuesday, it certainly sounds like a possibility.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the IOC also gave significant boosts to cheerleading and Muay Thai. The committee’s executive board provisionally recognized both sports’ world governing bodies, which means they’ll receive additional funding and gain the right to apply for development programs for the next three years. During that time, committee executives will decide whether to grant the sports full recognition, and should the sports succeed, their governing bodies can then petition to become official Olympic sports.