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Breakdancing, sport climbing, skateboarding added to 2024 Paris Olympics

AFP, December 9, 2020 6:45PM Kids News

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Rachael Gun aka "Bgirl Raygun" pictured breaking at St Peters, NSW, after the announcement that break dancing or "breaking" will be an Olympic sport in 2024. Picture: Sam Ruttyn media_cameraRachael Gun aka "Bgirl Raygun" pictured breaking at St Peters, NSW, after the announcement that break dancing or "breaking" will be an Olympic sport in 2024. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

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Breakdancing is one of four new sports, along with skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing, to be approved for inclusion* at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

The four sports were included as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board met to confirm the Paris 2024 program.

Skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing have already been added to the program for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will take place in 2021 after being postponed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

media_cameraGold trophy winner, Japanese skateboarder, Misugu Okamoto competes in the finals of the World Park Skateboarding Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil on September 14, 2019, which was the decider event for the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: AFP

The introduction of breaking was “one of the results of the Olympic Agenda 2020”, IOC president Thomas Bach said.

“We had a clear priority to introduce sports (that are) particularly popular among the younger generation and taking into consideration the urbanisation* of sport.”

Breakdancing, which grew up alongside hip hop in the South Bronx of New York, US in the 1970s and is officially known in sport terms as “breaking”, appeared at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the form of head-to-head “battles”.

Russia’s Sergei Chernyshev, competing under the nickname Bumblebee, won the first breakdancing gold medal for boys in that event, while Japan’s Ramu Kawai won the girls’ title.

“Today is a historic occasion not only for b-boys and b-girls but for all dancers around the world,” said Shawn Tay, president of the World Dance Sport Federation (WDSF).

“The WDSF could not be prouder to have breaking included at Paris 2024 … It was a true team effort to get to this moment and we will redouble* our efforts in the lead-up to the Olympic Games to make sure the breaking competition at Paris 2024 will be unforgettable.”

media_cameraBrazil’s breakdancer Mateus de Sousa Melo aka Bart competes during the Red Bull BC One, the breakdance one-on-one battle world championship in Mumbai, India in November 2019. Picture: AFP

Federations of sports that already have Olympic status were left disappointed in their bid to increase events within their sports as Mr Bach said that none of the proposed 41 events would be included in Paris.

While some sports substituted in some events within their existing event numbers, Mr Bach said medal events had actually gone down from 339 to 329.

He said the athletes’ quota* for Paris had been fixed at 10,500, including those participating in the four new sports.

That represents a decrease of 600 from the Tokyo Games, while gender equality would be achieved for the first time in Olympic history in Paris.

The goal of achieving gender equality has led to the men’s 50km race walk being left off the program. This event first appeared at the 1932 Olympics.

IOC sports director Kit McConnell said the event would be replaced by a “mixed gender event”.

There was a decision to “reach gender equality by removing the men’s 50km race walk”, rather than introducing a women’s version, Mr McConnell said, adding that the men and women’s 20km race walks would remain.

The replacement event will not, however, be a mixed cross-country, which World Athletics had been pushing hard for.

“The event had to fit into an existing Olympic venue,” Mr McConnell said, explaining that a potential re-fit of the equestrian* or mountain-bike venues to accommodate a cross-country was shown to be “too expensive and complex”.

GLOSSARY

  • inclusion: being included
  • urbanisation: the process of becoming more urban — cities and towns
  • redouble: try twice as hard
  • quota: set number or proportion agreed to
  • equestrian: horse related

EXTRA READING

Push for breakdancing at 2024 Olympics

The history of the Olympic Games

Aussie boys dancing onto world stage

Wise words from a circus star

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Name the four sports to be included in 2024.
  2. Why have the 2020 Olympics been postponed?
  3. Where will the 2021 Olympics be held?
  4. Where will the 2024 Olympics be held?
  5. Why will the men’s 50km race walk not be held at the 2024 Olympics?

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CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Petition for Olympic Sports
Which sport would you like to see as the newest sport to be included in the Olympic Games? Write a short speech outlining your reasons as to why this sport should be included in the Olympic Games in 2024.

Try and convince the Olympic committee that this sport is worthy and would attract a worldwide audience.

Some sports that are not currently in the Olympics are cricket, polo, squash, chess, netball, karate, bowling, baseball/softball. Choose one of these sports or another that you know of that isn’t yet an Olympic sport.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking

2. Extension
Which of the new sports included in the 2024 Olympic Games do you think will be most popular? Do you think many old Olympians will agree with these new-age sports making it onto the Olympic stage? Why/why not?

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity 
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
I Spy Nouns
Nouns are places, names (of people and objects), and time (months or days of the week).

How many nouns can you find in the article?

Can you sort them into places, names and time?

Pick 3 nouns and add an adjective (describing word) to the nouns.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What is your favourite Olympic event?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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