Breakdancing cleared its final hurdle to feature in the Olympic Games, bringing the wholly original, electric art form to sport’s biggest stage.
It will make its debut at the 2024 Paris Games – where skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing will all feature again after debuting at Tokyo in 2021.
The addition of the four sports is part of a push by the International Olympic Committee to lure younger audiences and refresh its program to remain relevant .
Paris Games organisers have said they want to deliver a program that is in keeping with the times and will attract a new and younger audience.
But the inclusion hasn’t pleased everyone. Australian squash legend Michelle Martin said the Olympics had become a “mockery”.
“You just look at the whole thing and you just go ‘where’s the Olympics going?’ I know some people say breakdancing’s a sport but … I don’t understand,” she said on Tuesday.
“The Olympics was all about a score, or it was a running race.
“There was a definitive answer and results to sports.
“You bring in all these judging things and it just gets so corrupt and so out of control.
“I just don’t get it anymore.”
Squash has lobbied hard, unsuccessfully, for decades to be included at the Olympics. But not even support from tennis superstar Roger Federer has been able to give it a look-in.
Before breakdancing, it had already lost to sports including skate boarding, sport climbing, BMX, surfing, golf and even wushu, which was trialled in Beijing in 2008.
Breakdancing will be called breaking at the Olympics, as it was in the 1970s by hip-hop pioneers in the US. It has also been given a prestige downtown venue, joining sport climbing and 3-on-3 basketball at Place de le Concorde.
Under IOC rules introduced for the Tokyo, Olympic host cities can hand-pick sports and propose them for inclusion in those Games if they are popular in that country and add to the appeal.
The IOC trimmed the overall events for Paris by 10 to 329 compared to the 2021 Tokyo Games, to reduce costs. It has also increased mixed-gender events from 18 in Tokyo to 22.
“With this program, we are making the Olympic Games Paris 2024 fit for the post-corona world,” IOC president Thomas Bach said.
“There is also a strong focus on youth.”
The IOC also capped the total athlete quota at 10,500.
The recent summer Olympics had registered an increase to more than 11,000.
There will also be exactly 50 per cent men and 50 per cent women athletes in Paris, up from 48.8 per cent women in Tokyo.
“While we will achieve gender equality already at the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, we will see for the first time in Olympic history the participation of the exact same number of female athletes as male athletes,” Mr Bach said.