Skateboarding, climbing and surfing have already been approved for next summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
“They contribute to make the program of the Games more gender-balanced, more youthful and more urban,” IOC President Thomas Bach said at a news conference Tuesday. “These four sports also offer the opportunity to connect with the young generation there.”
Break dancing, an acrobatic and athletic form of street dancing, has only recently seen momentum among sports enthusiasts. Breaking, as it’s often called, was staged for the first time at the Summer Youth Olympics last October in Buenos Aires, featuring boys, girls and a mixed-team events. The sport features a series of dance “battles,” set to music, which are scored by a panel of judges. No Americans qualified for the Argentina competition.
Bach said IOC officials will monitor the proposed Paris sports through 2020 “to see how they perform, to see how they manage their sport, to look at the governance, to look at the integrity of their competitions, to look at the referring and judging system and so on.”
While the IOC board might not seem like the most hip-hop literate crew, recognizing break dancing as a high-level competitive event has been several years the making. Through its Agenda 2020 initiative, IOC officials have been proactively trying to attract a younger audience and broaden the scope of offerings on the Olympic menu — “to get the couch potatoes off the couch,” as Bach has said.
“In order to get people to sport, we have to go where people are,” Bach told reporters Tuesday in Lausanne. “If they are spectators at the sport event or if they’re in the city, then we have to benefit from this opportunity to engage them with sport — to motivate them, not to watch only sport but to practice sport.”
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