If you were to tell people fifty years ago in the south Bronx that breakdancing was going to be a sport in the 2024 Paris, Olympics, they would have said you were CRAZY.
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Originally brought to the scene with the birth of hip hop, graffiti, and DJs, breaking was created as a way for rival gangs to battle without bloodshed. A means for inner-city youth to get together, express themselves, and win bragging rights in the neighborhood. A form of dancing that would create a circle of fans, aka cipher, around the dancers, and everyone would cheer on the performers as they flip, freeze, and flair in the air to James Brown loops on flattened cardboard boxes during hot summer night block parties.
Now, this same art form is becoming a professional sport in the Olympics. B-boys and B-girls are training and competing all over the world in hopes that they will be able to battle in the 2024 Paris Olympics. In the end, 16 men and women will be invited to compete at the famous outdoor square, Place de la Concorde, in Paris.
Many breakers say that the path to the Olympics, which starts its qualifying matches in September and will run until June of 2024, will require intense training. Every day these breakers push their body to the limits of physics and ultimately put a lot of strain on their muscles, joints, and bones. Every windmill, headspin, and halo demands unbelievable athleticism and can easily cause pain and injury — especially when the adrenaline kicks in and the battle begins.
With that said, athletes need to be able to manage their pain and injuries, and it turns out that CBD is one of the best ways to help athletes train and rehabilitate. Recent studies has shown that CBD may provide safe, effective relief from pain and mental issues.
To make things even better, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which governs the Olympic games, has not placed CBD on its list of banned substances. So all competing athletes can use it for non-habit-forming pain relief, fighting inflammation, arthritis, joint injuries (including knee pain), and restful sleep.
How will breakdancing be judged at the Olympics?
In the past, judging competitions for battles was very subjective and relied heavily on the crowd’s response. However that will be different at the Paris Olympics where judges will use a newly developed judging system that was created at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.
A panel of five judges will score each dancer on creativity, personality, technique, variety, performativity and musicality. The scores can adjust throughout the battle, based on how a breaker responds to their opponent. Scores can be lowered if a breaker copies a set of moves from their opponent. Misbehavior, such as deliberate physical contact with an opponent, and other unsportsmanlike conduct can also lower a breaker’s score.
How does the community feel about breaking being an Olympic sport?
The announcement made two years ago created a division among the community. On one side, opponents to the news feel that by becoming an Olympic sport, it will take away the artform’s purity and make it too mainstream. Other people in the community feel a huge sense of pride that it will be competing on the global level.
Famous first generation b-boy Douglas “Dancin’ Doug” Colon said in an interview, “You never thought that something you were doing for fun was going to go around the world.” He then went on to say, “Nothing’s going to change the culture. The culture stays the same. Even though it’s now an Olympic sport, people back in the hood will still be doing their thing.”
Back in the day, breaking was a way for people to express themselves. It was an art form that pushed acrobatics and physics to the next level. It was used as a way for marginalized communities to express themselves, showcase physical prowess and win bragging rights. Now the bragging will be showcased in the form of medals at the Paris Olympics. And it will change the face of the sport for the rest of the world.