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Breakdancing is the newest Olympic sport

Moroccan B-Boy Dfazzy competes in the France-Morocco Friendship Meeting involving 12 B-Girls and B-Boys in the Moroccan capital Rabat on April 17, 2024, 100 days before the 2024 Paris Olympics. (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP) (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — It's been a long journey from laying out a piece of cardboard on the sidewalk and performing in front of passersby to intense training, big sponsorships and now a chance at a gold medal. This is the history of breakdancing.

Breaking, as it is also known, is officially an Olympic sport and begins this summer in Paris.

“You have to have the athleticism of a professional athlete, but you also have to be an artist and you have to dance,” said longtime breaker David “Kid David” Schreibman to Rolling Stone.

USA Basketball announces its men's team for the Paris Olympics

The official Olympics website states: “Breaking is an urban dance style that originated in the United States in the 1970s. With its roots in hip-hop culture, breaking took its first forms in the lively block parties of New York's Bronx borough and is characterized by acrobatic moves, stylized footwork, and the key role of the DJ and MC (master of ceremonies) during battles. “

Breaking auditioned for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. According to NBC Olympics, the event attracted more than a million viewers.

There will be two competitions: one for men and one for women.

“6 B-Boys and 16 B-Girls will compete against each other in spectacular individual battles. Athletes will use a combination of power moves – including windmills, the 6-step and freezes – as they adapt their style and improvise to the beat of the DJ's tracks to secure the judges' votes and take home the first Olympic break to take medals,” says the official Olympic website.

The US team will consist of two men and two women. Two have qualified so far: Sunny Choi, also known as “B-Girl Sunny,” and Victor Montalvo (“B-Boy Victor”).

The squad of more than 10,000 Olympians is still being formed, but trials await thousands

Breaking had gone in and out of fashion for years, but grassroots competitions took what one dancer called a “seismic leap” when Red Bull organized the first official competition in 2001.

“Lords of the Floor,” as Rolling Stone put it, “treated breakers like professional athletes, covering travel expenses for crews from around the world, providing masseuses for dancers between rounds and handing out $4,000 in prize money, more than anyone else .” other event.”

One dancer says it was the first time breakers were treated like rock stars.

Now they are treated like Olympians. And Olympic champion.

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