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Breakers to get just one shot at gold

Updated: 2024-07-10 10:14
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US breakdancer Logan Edra performs a sequence of dance moves as she teaches a breakdancing class at Playground LA in Los Angeles, California, US, June 11, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

The already high stakes of Olympic competition will be further elevated for breakers at the Paris Games, where the champions could be the only ones to ever win gold medals in the sport.

Breaking will make its Olympic debut in Paris, but Los Angeles has already said it will not be part of its program in 2028 and it is looking unlikely to return to the Games when Brisbane hosts in 2032.

"It's a bummer that we're not approved for the next Olympics, but I still believe in us," United States breaker Logan "Logistx" Edra said.

"I know that in Paris we are going to bring so much light and good energy with our dance."

Born at block parties in the Bronx borough of New York in the 1970s, breaking, known commonly to the uninitiated as breakdancing, blends urban dance with acrobatic moves set to the beat of hip-hop music.

In Paris, 16 B-girls and 16 B-boys will engage in one-on-one battles beginning with a round-robin competition, quarterfinals, semifinals and, finally, medal events under the watchful eye of the judges.

The women's competition will be held on Aug 9, and the men's on Aug 10, in the heart of the city at the Place de la Concorde.

After the breakers are introduced to the crowd by the MC, the first dancer starts their "throw down" in the top rock position, dancing upright to the beat, before transitioning to floor-based moves and stunts.

From there, they use their hands for support as they show off intricate footwork and power moves, such as when a dancer spins continuously, freezes, and a variety of other tricks and flips follow.

While the breaker knows the playlist of songs that can be selected by the DJ during the battle, they do not know the exact song they will be dancing to until it comes out of the loudspeakers.

"That's what I love about breaking, you've got to adapt in the moment," said B-boy Victor Montalvo, who won the 2023 World Breaking Championship to book his spot on the US team for Paris.

Breaking is part sport, part art form, and all self-expression, Montalvo said.

"You've got to be creative, have style, have individuality and have your own fingerprint," he said.

Even if breaking is one-and-done at the Olympics, its athletes see a bright future for the sport while always honoring its roots, Montalvo said.

"I'm so happy to represent my culture and show people the real essence of breaking," he said.


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