07 Oct 2018 01:57
The third edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) kicked off tonight with a spectacular Opening Ceremony in front of hundreds of thousands of people at the Obelisco de Buenos Aires at the heart of the Argentinian capital.
Breaking, which is making its Olympic debut at the Games, was mentioned throughout the one-and-a-half hour broadcast, and for the 24 b-boys and b-girls who will be at the centre of the sports world in Buenos Aires, the experience is a dream come true.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach addressed the massive crowd, which included athletes and heads of state, that were given free entry to view the spectacle.
“We all come from different parts of the world and have different cultures but we are all united by the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect,” the 1976 Montreal Olympic gold-medal-winning fencer said. “Guided by these Olympic values, each one of you [athletes] makes a difference in sport and in life. And this experience will stay with you for all your life.”
Argentinian President Mauricio Macri officially opened the Games ahead of the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.
The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games will run from 6-18 October and feature 4,000 young athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 from more than 200 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). They will participate in 239 events in 32 sports and 36 disciplines.
For the first time in Olympic history, the number of female and male athletes competing will be the same. Alongside Breaking, three other sports are making their debuts on the Olympic stage: Roller Sports, Karate and Sport Climbing. New disciplines and events are also joining the programme, including Kiteboarding, Beach Handball, BMX Freestyle and Acrobatic Gymnastics.
Breaking matches perfectly with the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games: it is athletic, youthful, creative, urban and popular with young people across the globe. In addition, breaking is universal. While its origins lie in the United States, today’s top-level b-boys and b-girls come from all corners of the world – the 24 breakers competing in Buenos Aires, for example, represent 18 countries in total.
At the YOG, a number of big names from the Breaking scene (Crazy Legs and Storm ring a bell?) will support the running of the competitions, including the judging. In the run-up to the YOG, the same experts also helped define the qualifying system, which provided for the first ever online qualification process in Olympic history, open to any b-boy or b-girl across the globe.
In Buenos Aires, the breakers will compete in 1vs1 battles on 7 and 8 October, with 2vs2 mixed-gender battles taking place on 10 and 11 October. Click here for the full schedule. The last three days of competition will be streamed live on www.breakingforgold.com and on www.olympicchannel.com.
The sports at the YOG will be spread across four parks to ensure the entire city can enjoy the action. The Breaking events will take place in the Urban Park, where the public will be also able to join in Breaking initiation sessions.