The Tokyo Summer Olympics is definitely one of the most unique games in history. After its original 2020 date was canceled thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's games are taking place a bit later than normal. Olympic athletes have been sharing inside looks at the Olympic Village on TikTok, and a series of new sports have even been added to the competition this year — with the most new additions in 100 years.
One sport that's been discussed at length in regards to the Olympics is breakdancing — which has been rumored to be making its first appearance soon. Will breakdancing be featured in the 2021 Olympics?
Will there be breakdancing at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics?
Unfortunately for breakdancing fans, the popular dance style will not be making its debut at the 2021 Olympics — but it has been added to the roster for the upcoming 2024 games, which will be held in Paris, France. Breakdancing will be featured under the name "breaking."
This type of dance often features athletic movements, like spinning on your head and holding difficult poses, and its feature in the upcoming 2024 games is an exciting development for the breakdancing community.
Breakdancing originated in Black and Latinx communities, starting back in the 1970s. The foundation of the hip-hop-inspired dance style is often traced back to the Bronx and was popularized by Black and Peurto Rican people.
While the sport will make its first appearance at the international games in 2024, it's unclear if it will become a recurring part of the competition — but its temporary addition is considered a positive for the breakdancing community.
"It's a great opportunity for the younger generation to have something to look forward to, as with any, you know, athletic sport, the older guys - you know, you didn't have that. It was just battling," professional hip-hop dancer and breaker Raphael Xavier told NPR. "But I think now that the Olympics are, you know, on the table, this younger generation has something else to look forward to outside of what we've always had."
Six new sports were added to the Tokyo Olympic Games.
While breakdancing might not be a feature this year, there are six other sports that are reentering the mix at this year's competition. For the first time since 2018, both baseball and softball will be featured at the Tokyo games after they were dropped in 2012 and 2016. Karate, skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing are all making their Olympic debuts this year as first-time additions to the games.
Karate's Olympic debut is happening after almost 50 years and was added exclusively for the Tokyo games. The contestants will compete in two disciplines: kumite (sparring against an opponent) and kata (a demonstration of form). While karate typically has five weight classes, there will only be three for the Tokyo games.
At this time, it's not expected that Karate will make another appearance at the 2024 Paris games, though it's possible that could change depending on this year's results.