Breakdance – the new Olympic discipline
Very sadly our rowing commumity noticed a month ago, that Coastal Rowing will not be Olympic soon. As a matter of fact, I am learning that something I have not even considered a “sport” will be an olympic dicipline. Breakdancing. And because of those new disciplines we are reducing our sport to 24 rowing participants in Paris… But is it really breakdancing vs. coastal rowing?
Of course I am very dissapointed about the IOC’s desicion. I dont know what will happen in 8 years. I am a masters rower with several little pains every day. Will I still be rowing in 2028? Can I make it to Los Angeles? I was very surprised by the decision. And even more surprised that FISA obviously was not so surprised. Maybe they knew more than us normal rowers. I hope so.
So now, breaking, a competitive form of breakdancing, has been confirmed as part of the final line-up at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
As Reece Goodall, writer at theboar.org tells us: “This was confirmed as part of plans by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC’s president, Thomas Bach, said that it will help to make the Games “more gender balanced, more youthful and more urban”. Breaking will join surfing, skateboarding, and sport climbing, which are expected to make their debut as part of next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Hm. My two sons, 25 and 23 are happy. They have seen breakdancing on TV during the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Games. I didn’t. Big mistake, I guess.
Breakdancing as Attitude:
Breakdancing always seemed to me more like a positive attitude of younger children. Challenging their parents and parts of society with dancing styles and self made Hip Hop. I actually do like to see that. And I think younger people always need to change habits of former generations and also need to challenge the older generations of their time. Parents and older people in our society should understand this. We sometimes need a few little kicks to move and to accept new situations. So I accept this new sport. Still: It feels like a revolution. Breaking is Olympic. Let’s see how and if the authenticity and attitude will remain after the Olympics.
Breakdancing vs Coastal Rowing: Mixed reactions: Why?
I have heard mixed reactions: How to score breakdancing, who are the referees? Is it a sports at all? There was widespread criticism when it was announced that breakdancing would be included at the 2024 Olympics. I guess it will be similar to figure skating or ice dancing in the winter Olympics. Remember: Dancing was not considered by the IOC. There is contention whether dancing is even a sport, though anyone who knows about the competitive form of dance will agree that it fits all the criteria. Reece Goodall reported that there also have been concerns from those in the breaking community, who fear that inclusion in the Olympics could compromise its authenticity. “There’s been quite some controversy inside the scene,” said Logan ‘Logistx’ Edra, a 17-year-old B-girl from San Diego, California. “It’s basically making sure that we preserve the essence and the culture, and that it doesn’t get lost in the competitive grind as we continue to progress and make steps into the Olympics.”
Take sport to the youth
No doubt: IOC president Thomas Bach is right: “take sport to the youth”. The IOC’s decision to tap into the huge hip-hop world is part of this decades’ push to get more young viewers interested in the Olympics. And even though I am sorry about Coastal Rowing, I think he is right. It is not breakdancing vs. coastal rowing. It is about rejuvenation of our old thinking patterns.
Comments by the Sydney Morning Harold point into a similar direction: The Australian Breaking Association believes the inclusion in the Olympics will get more young people not just participating but sticking around for the long term. And I guess even for me it will be more fun to watch a breaking competition instead of a boring men 50 km racewalk which has been cut out so far.
New York – Where breakdancing evolved
Breakdancing started in the 1960s and 1970s in the suburbs of New York. It is a very energetic sport. And probably very nice to watch. “Breaking blends artistry and athleticism with key elements, including top rocks (typically a competitor’s introductory dance move), footwork, power moves and freezes. Power moves are explosive displays such as spins, while freezes are when a performer sticks a pose. Competitors – known as b-boys and b-girls – are not only judged on technical skill but also creativity and style, with strength, speed, rhythm, and agility all considered.The World Dance Sport Federation president recognises the IOC’s decision as historic. British breakdancer Karam Singh said: “It’s going to be great for breaking as it gives us more recognition as a sport. And for the Olympics, it will attract young people who may not follow some of the traditional sports.”
It seems there is a new IOC rule we, as Coastal Rowing community, have to look at specifically. Olympic host cities can now hand-select sports and propose them for inclusion in those Games if they are popular in that country and will therefore add to the Games’ appeal. Is Coastal Rowing popular in the US, or especially in California? I think FISA has the answer.