17 Sep 2019 13:32
Breaking’s involvement at the first World Urban Games this past weekend in Budapest received glowing reviews across the board.
Judges? Loved it.
Media? Full marks as well.
Most importantly, the breakers were also stoked to have been involved.
“It was amazing. I loved the energy around me,” said eventual gold-medal winning b-boy Victor of the United States. “I loved the crowd. They were screaming for everybody, so it was really good energy.”
It was a sentiment echoed by France’s Lagaet, one of 16 elite b-boys who competed at the WUG along with the world’s 16 best b-girls.
“I felt really good here, the atmosphere was so dope,” he said. “We got to share with other people from other sports. For me this is a path, you know what I mean? Because we are trying to go to the Olympics.”
He stressed that the WUG was excellent preparation ahead of Breaking’s possible inclusion on the programme for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in that it helped the breakers get used to taking part in multi-sport events, multiple battle rounds and a new judging system.
“It’s not the end, we are just starting now,” he said. “We are trying this [event], then the next one, until we make it perfect for the Olympics.”
Breaking was provisionally included on the sports programme for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) this June. A final decision will be made in December 2020. If accepted, Breaking would be the first World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) discipline to appear at the Olympic Games, a logical next step after Breaking’s auspicious debut at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
The inaugural edition of the World Urban Games, organised by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), took place in the Hungarian capital from 13 to 15 September. The Breaking battles were all livestreamed on the Olympic Channel and breakingforgold.com, while the finals were broadcast live on Eurosport. A list of all the Breakers who competed at the first World Urban Games can be found here.
Victor beat WDSF World Breaking Champion Menno (NED) in the b-boy final, with Youth Olympic Games champion Bumblebee (RUS) picking up bronze.
On the women’s side, World Champion Ami (JPN) defeated Sunny (USA) in the b-girl final, while 16-year-old Logistx (USA) overcame Kate (UKR) to claim bronze.
“I had a really great time this whole event,” Logistx said of her time at the WUG. “I loved where the venue was. I loved how it was super hip hop with all the graffiti. I loved the energy from the crowd.”
She said the dancers got an extra boost of energy from the big and knowledgeable crowds that turned up on both competition days and also tipped her hat to MCs Amjad (SUI) and Rambo (HUN). “Props to both of the people on the mic, who were really cultivating the energy for us dancers cuz we really need that while we’re dancing,” she said.
Not to be left out, DJs Fleg (USA) and South Scream (UKR) and supporting drum and bass band The Kinkies (SUI) also got a sizeable pat on the back.
“The music helped me a lot,” said b-girl Ami on her gold-medal winning run. “The DJs and the live band were great and I enjoyed every bit of the competition.”
The WDSF was proud to be a part of the inaugural edition of the World Urban Games, which also featured BMX Freestyle, Roller Freestyle, Parkour, 3X3 Basketball and Flying Disc Freestyle. Indoor rowing and laser run were included as showcase sports.
14 Sep 2019 19:46
B-boy Victor from the USA and b-girl Ami from Japan today became the first ever Breaking champions at a World Urban Games (WUG).
The breakers wowed a large, enthusiastic crowd in Budapest, Hungary, with spirited performances in the finals of many very tight 1vs1 battles, with Victor outlasting b-boy Menno (Netherlands), who is no less than the 2019 WDSF World Breaking champion, and Ami defeating Sunny (USA). Ami and Sunny are reigning World Champion and Vice World Champion respectively.
In the bronze-medal battles, b-boy Bumblebee (Russia) beat Shigekix (Japan) while the youngest b-girl in the competition, 16 year-old Logistx (USA) overcame Kate (Ukraine).
B-boy Victor impressed the judges and spectators alike with his athletic skills, creativity and musicality. After the victory, he said: “It feels amazing. I was so excited after that final round that I wanted to go for more battles. I was really ready for it.” Asked about how he will enjoy his victory, he said: “I will celebrate now, have some fun, enjoy my time with my girlfriend who is here as well and call my family!”
Victor had won the Outbreak Europe event in July, through which he had qualified for the World Urban Games.
B-girl Ami never wavered throughout the day and said after defeating Sunny in the final: “I really enjoyed the final with Sunny, so I was already very happy before even knowing the result. We are all friends!” She added: “I just try to do my best and this time the music helped me a lot. The DJ and the live band were great, I enjoyed every bit of the competition.”
Also making it to the b-boy quarterfinals were Vero (Korea), Lussy Sky (Ukraine), Phil Wizard (Canada) and Icey Ives (USA). On the b-girl side, Ayane (Japan), Sarah Bee (France), San Andrea (France) and Queen Mary (Bulgaria) rounded out the top 8.
Hurricane, one of the three judges for Breaking at the World Urban Games, had this to say about the overall success of Breaking at the World Urban Games: “It was crazy and the tension was so high, even for the judges. We had to react very quickly, be fully concentrated and, at this level of competition, really focus on every detail to be considered for the voting. The battles were extremely tight. But the vibes were so nice, I appreciated this a lot. I think the quality of this event shows the potential for Breaking at the Olympic Games and what we can show to the world.”
For images of today’s Breaking events at the WUG please click here (to be credited to WUG Budapest 2019).
The inaugural edition of the World Urban Games (WUG), organised by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), is taking place in Budapest from 13 to 15 September 2019. The Breaking events featured the world’s best 32 b-boys and b-girls and were livestreamed on the Olympic Channel and breakingforgold.com, while the finals were broadcast live on Eurosport 2 with a replay set to air from 1 p.m. CET on Monday. A list of all the Breakers who competed at the first World Urban Games can be found here.
Other sports on the WUG programme include BMX Freestyle, Roller Freestyle, Parkour, 3X3 Basketball and Flying Disc Freestyle. In addition, indoor rowing and laser run are showcase sports.
Having Breaking featured on the programme of the World Urban Games was another exciting first for DanceSport. It followed the June decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to provisionally include Breaking on the sports programme of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, with a final decision set to be taken in December 2020.
13 Sep 2019 18:51
The world’s 32 best b-boys and b-girls got straight down to business on the first day of the inaugural edition of the World Urban Games (WUG) in Budapest, Hungary, taking place from 13 to 15 September 2019.
The spectators at the previously derelict Great Market Hall, built in 1932 in a suburb just south of the city centre, witnessed spectacular battles that featured fierce competition, sweeping beats from DJs Fleg and South Scream that were punctuated by the drum and bass stylings of The Kinkies, and plenty of good vibes.
The ladies got things started, battling in groups of four that saw the top two b-girls from each group advance to tomorrow’s Knockout Stage.
Ami (Japan), Ayane (Japan), Sarah Bee (France), San Andrea (France), Sunny (USA), Queen Mary (Bulgaria), Kate (Ukraine) and Logistx (USA) all made the cut after some intense performances made for some very difficult decisions for judges Katsu, Moy and Hurricane.
“The level of b-girls has just been moving up every single year”, said B-boy Moy, one of the three judges for the Breaking events at the World Urban Games. “I think it’s also because the community has been focused to give them more and keep them involved. There was one point where b-boys and b-girls were kind of separated, now we are equal. This drives these young women a lot and makes them compete at the highest level. And they are here! That’s why to see the level raise and raise is not surprising to me, but impressive. I am excited to see this!”
The preliminary rounds for the 16 b-boys were no less competitive and followed the same format as that for the b-girls. Treated to a vast array of artistic, athletic and creative skill, the crowd showed its appreciation throughout the six hours of battles.
The following eight b-boys advanced to tomorrow’s finals: Shigekix (Japan), Vero (Korea), Victor (USA), Lussy Sky (Ukraine), Phil Wizard (Canada), Menno (Netherlands), Icey Ives (USA) and Bumblebee (Russia).
B-boy Menno from the Netherlands, the 2019 WDSF World Breaking Champion, and Shigekix from Japan, bronze medallist at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and seventh at the WDSF World Breaking Championship this year, were tipped as favourites for the title ahead of the competition and they proved the pundits right. The same can also be said for b-girls Ami from Japan and Sunny from the USA, reigning World Champion and Vice World Champion respectively.
“To be on the stage tomorrow is really amazing for me, wonderful”, said b-boy Shigekix directly after the competition. “The preliminaries today were really high level. I am happy to have made the finals and that I can dance tomorrow. However, this is only day one and just the beginning. Tomorrow I will do better than today for sure. Check it out!”
Tomorrow’s finals will be broadcast as of 17:40 local time on the Olympic Channel and Breaking for Gold. Eurosport 2 will also broadcast the finals live as of 19:00, with a replay set to air from 13:00 on Monday. Be sure to tune in!
For the World Urban Games, 24 breakers qualified from the 2019 WDSF World Breaking Championship in Nanjing. The rest of the field was rounded out by three b-boys and b-girls from the Outbreak Europe event held in Slovakia in July, while the final two places were allotted to dancers from the host country.
The first edition of the World Urban Games features six sports, including Breaking, BMX Freestyle, Roller Freestyle, Parkour, 3X3 Basketball and Flying Disc Freestyle. In addition, indoor rowing and laser run are on the programme as showcase sports. These multi-sport games, organised by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), are set to become the ultimate global showcase for a new generation of urban sports and will be held every two years.
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to check out behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and much more. Official updates will be featured on the Breaking for Gold website as well as on the World Urban Games website.
For images of the Breaking events at the WUG please click here.
12 Sep 2019 08:32
For any Breaking event to be successful, a number of important ingredients are required. The dancers, of course. Experienced judges. DJs and exactly the right music.
One sometimes overlooked yet nevertheless critical element is the MC, who has the challenging job of making sure the entire proceeding runs smoothly while at the same time energizing and educating the audience to ensure everyone is properly engaged with what the b-boys and b-girls are doing.
At the World Urban Games (WUG) this weekend, this responsibility falls on the shoulders of Switzerland’s Amjad Khan, who will be accompanied by local mistress of ceremonies Rambo.
Amjad, who is of course no stranger to the scene having been a breaker, promoter, producer and MC for as long as anyone can remember, recently took some time out of his busy schedule to give his thoughts on Breaking’s inclusion at the first ever WUG, which begin tomorrow in the Hungarian capital.*
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the first World Urban Games?
A: I’m really looking forward to showing the world our true culture. Having the attention of the Olympic Committee and knowing that the world is watching is really exciting because I know this event is going to be a success and I really look forward to seeing the live band [drums and bass will accompany DJ Fleg and DJ South Scream] with the dancers, which is going to give a new dimension to that kind of big competition.
Q: What do you think the level of competition will be like in Budapest?
A: The competition will be really high level because the world’s 16 best b-boys and 16 best b-girls will be there.
Q: As MC, what is your main role during such events and how do you add your own style to what you do?
A: The role of the MC is to make people have a great time. Sometimes we have to explain what is going on to an audience that is not used to Breaking. And, of course, my own style is trying to transmit the feeling of the dance to the crowd and deliver to them something [they feel] inside that makes them scream or really enjoy what they are seeing.
Q: Do you think events like the World Urban Games, Youth Olympic Games and Olympic Games are having a good impact on Breaking and its growth and the community?
A: I think those big events are really good for our Breaking scene because they are going to bring more people into this dance. Breaking is really good because you need physical ability, you need to dance with the music, you need to know the music, it is a really healthy discipline to do. Our main goal now will be to keep our culture alive at such big events and not lose ourselves into competition and losing the cultural part, which is having fun, partying together, graffiti, rhyming on the mic, having the DJs.
Q: What are your feelings about Breaking provisionally being included on the sports programme for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games?
A: I’m really excited about it and I hope that it will be a success and that Breakers will finally be recognized by governments, big corporations and the general public for the hard work we have put into our art all these years.
Q: Any final words?
A: I’m really glad that the WUG let us be who we are without really changing to adapt to an audience. Like this, the general public can really see how we dance our culture and our style.
*All of the battles will be livestreamed on The Olympic Channel as well as here on Breaking For Gold.
14 Aug 2019 07:03
With just a month to go until the World Urban Games this 13-15 September in Budapest, the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) reached out to two breakers set to compete in the Hungarian capital to get their thoughts on the first edition of the new multi-sport event and a range of other topics, including Breaking’s possible inclusion at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
B-boy Klash is a five-time winner of the Red Bull BC One in his native Egypt, and he has his sights set on Budapest to raise both his profile and the profile of Breaking in his homeland. Hungarian b-girl Csepke, on the other hand, took part in Breaking’s debut at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games and is proud to be welcoming the World Urban Games to her hometown and exposing Breaking to an ever-widening audience.
“I’m very happy to see the World Urban Games organised in Hungary,” said Csepke, who was born and raised in Budapest. “I think it’s a great opportunity for me and for the whole Hungarian Breakin’ culture because we can meet the prominent players in the Breaking scene.”
The World Urban Games will feature eight sports (six competition and two showcase) in total, including BMX Freestyle, Roller Freestyle, Parkour, 3X3 Basketball and Flying Disc Freestyle. Breaking will take place over two days at the WUG, with the Round Robin phase on 13 September followed by the Final phase (Top 8) the next day.
Twenty-four of the breakers qualified directly from the 2019 WDSF World Breaking Championship held in Nanjing, China this June. Six others booked their tickets via the Outbreak Europe event last month, meaning the level of artistry and athleticism on display will be world-class, something that Klash says he more than welcomes.
“For me, I want to be unique and known everywhere around the world. I love Breaking and want to be the best,” he says, adding that he enjoys performing difficult and original moves, something the crowds in Budapest should expect to see next month.
Klash also says that when he competes at international events he does so not only for personal reasons but as an ambassador for his country. “Egypt has a lot of people dancing – maybe 1,000 b-boys – but there is [not a lot of] interest, there are no tournaments. My country really needs this.”
The WUG are designed to be the ultimate global showcase for urban sports, providing visitors with a rich mixture of sports, music and culture. The Games will also help to regenerate a part of southern Budapest that has been off limits to the public for many years: the site of the Great Market Hall, which first opened in 1932. The Hall, which Csepke describes as the “perfect venue” for the event, will be used both as a competition site and a concert hall and is situated next to the Danube River, providing a visually stunning backdrop for the Games.
For Csepke, the WUG are another important stepping stone in her development as a b-girl. She credits her success to the great support of her Stay Fresh Crew and especially her coach, Lajos Fodor, who she admires for his work ethic and commitment to ensuring that “great opportunities” are offered to her entire team.
“I want to have fun during the event because it is very important for me to dance with a positive attitude and to do my best moves,” she says, pointing to her footwork, Toprock and musicality as her main strengths. “I will try my best during the World Urban Games to proudly represent Hungary.”
Csepke did just that at Breaking’s debut at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, which she says was a springboard to greater opportunities and growth within the community.
“I learnt a lot during the Youth Olympic Games. The things that I learnt and experienced there help me during my daily practices in Hungary,” she says. “I have been practicing and travelling a lot with my team since then. I had another chance to represent Hungary in Nanjing, China at the World Breaking Championship. It was such a great experience, too.”
Of course, one of the biggest opportunities for Breaking in decades is its possible inclusion at the Olympic Games in 2024. The WDSF has already received provisional inclusion from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with a final decision set for December 2020.
Asked if they would be interested in taking part in the Olympic Games should Breaking be granted official inclusion, the two breakers were unanimous in their response.
“Absolutely!” says Klash. “I want the world to become more interested [in Breaking] and the attention to focus on dance, because it is so good and very difficult.”
Csepke echoed his thoughts: “[The Youth Olympic Games] were a great chance for me and for the whole Breakin’ community. I’m really excited that Breakin’ might be involved in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
The line-up for Breaking at the World Urban Games is as follows:
B-girls: Ami (JPN), Sunny (USA), Jilou (GER), Ying Zi (CHN), Roxy (GBR), Ayane (JPN), Madmax (BEL), Queen Mary (BUL), Logistix (USA), Fresh Bella (KOR), Vavi (RUS), Paulina (POL), Csepke (HUN), Kate (UKR), San Andrea (FRA), and Sarah Bee (FRA).
B-boys: Menno (NED), Lussy Sky (UKR), Lil G (VEN), Bumblebee (RUS), Lagaet (FRA), Shigekix (JPN), Phil Wizard (CAN), Klash (EGY), Vero (KOR), Roll (HUN), Dr. Hill (MEX), BruceAlmighty (POR), Victor (USA), Icey Ives (USA), Daniel (NOR), Quake (TPE).
On hand to judge the 1vs1 battles will be Jeskilz (FRA), Katsu One (JPN) and Moy (USA), with Amjad and Rambo doing the emceeing and DJs Southscream and Fleg on the turntables.