02 Jul 2020 15:31
The coronavirus may still be playing havoc with the DanceSport competition calendar, but work nevertheless continues unabated at the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Paris 2024 Organising Committee with regard to Breaking’s possible inclusion at the Olympic Games in four years’ time.
The IOC provisionally approved Breaking for the 2024 Olympic Programme in June 2019 along with Skateboarding, Sport Climbing and Surfing – each proposed by the Paris organisers as additional sports for their edition of the Games. The IOC then earmarked December 2020 as the deadline to make its final decision on the inclusion of the four sports, a deadline that was upheld last month by the IOC Executive Board (EB) in spite of the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to 2021.
“For the [Paris 2024] event programme, we have maintained the December 2020 deadline, even though new sports can now not be tested on the Olympic stage, but we need to give certainty to the concerned athletes, their NOCs and Federations and the Organising Committee,” IOC President Thomas Bach said following the IOC EB meeting on 10 June this year.
The decision to stick to the original deadline came after a review by the Olympic Programme Commission that considered the impact on and feedback from key stakeholders, including the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, International Federations, National Olympic Committees and athletes. The Commission argued that maintaining the initial deadline would “provide certainty to all the involved parties” and aid in all aspects of planning for Paris 2024.
While the Breaking community awaits the final decision by the IOC (the exact dates of the December EB meeting will be communicated in due course), the WDSF has meanwhile given its tentative approval to Paris 2024 to host Breaking, should it get the nod this December, on the Place de la Concorde in the heart of the city.
The Organising Committee has proposed that a temporary multi-sport venue be built on the famous square located between the iconic Champs-Elysées and the jardin des Tuileries, with 3x3 Basketball, BMX Freestyle and Sport Climbing also being considered for the venue.
Paris 2024 expects the stadium to provide a totally new experience and to attract new and younger spectators.
“The WDSF remains excited and hopeful about the IOC decision this December on Breaking at Paris 2024,” says WDSF President Shawn Tay. “Our ongoing discussions with Paris 2024 have been very fruitful and we are in full support of their proposed concept to host Breaking, should it be approved, on the Place de la Concorde, which would be a truly magical backdrop for the world’s best b-boys and b-girls to showcase their incredible talents to a massive global audience.”
A springboard to Paris 2024 for up-and-coming Breakers could come in the form of the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022, where Breaking will be making its second straight appearance at the multi-sport event for athletes aged 15-18 (for Breaking the ages are 16-18, so anyone born in 2004, 2005 or 2006 for Dakar 2022).
Preparations are well under way in the Senegalese capital, and the IOC says it will confirm the official qualifying schedule and rules for the 4th edition of the summer YOG at the next meeting of its Executive Board on 15 July. The WDSF will announce the details as soon as they become available.
And while we all can’t wait for battles to resume again in the flesh, the WDSF has been busy teaming up with FISE to organise the next best thing – Breaking battles online!
E-FISE Montpellier is a new and innovative online experience that will kick off on 9 July with a video contest open to all b-boys and b-girls. The rules are simple: shoot, submit and share for your chance to advance to the finals, which will be shown live on FISE TV and Eurosport on September 12.
Breaking will join BMX, Rollerblading, Parkour, Skateboarding, Scooter and Wakeboarding with minimum overall prize money of €150,000 up for grabs (€4,500 each for the winning b-boy and b-girl). Fans will be able to vote for their favourite videos online, while a “WEBSTIVAL” featuring online activations will provide festival vibes throughout the competition period.
Last but certainly not least, a new date for the rescheduled WDSF World Breaking Championship in Nanjing, China (postponed from 2020 to 2021) will be communicated shortly.
In the meantime, stay tuned to WDSF channels for all Olympic-related information and other exciting news in the weeks to come!View more news