After its successful trial run at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires this past October, Paris 2024 organizers have decided to put breaking into the program for the Summer Games. In addition to breaking, Paris 2024 voted to add skateboarding, climbing, and surfing to the program. (The last three were already accepted as “additional sports” for Tokyo 2020.) The addition won’t be official until the IOC gives final approval in 2020.
The losers in today’s vote were baseball, karate, and squash.
It’s not surprising that Paris organizers would select breaking to make its official Olympic debut in their city in 2024. It’s quite popular in France. B-boys from France have won the Red Bull BC One, one of the premier annual 1-vs.-1 battles, three times. Only the U.S.—where the dance was created—has had more winners since 2004, with four. (Korea also has three wins.)
Despite the winning track record, Japan, Russia, and Korea are actually where many of the best b-boys and b-girls in the world live and train. The b-boy gold medalist in Buenos Aires was from Russia; the winner on the women’s side was from Japan.
Beyond its global popularity, breaking is relatively easy to stage. No specialized equipment needed. Just a good floor, some chairs for the judges, and a good sound system. It can easily share space with other sports and can be held outdoors as it was in Buenos Aires. You don’t have to build a costly coliseum for a breaking battle.
And given that the IOC is your dorky—yet rich and powerful—dad trying to seem young and cool, including more youth focused events like breaking serves its interests.