Breaking on the Paris Olympic Games 2024

Emmy Schouten

Paris is hosting the Olympics this summer! This means a podium for all the urban disciplines to showcase their sickest skills. In this blog, we’ll show you all in the ins and outs of breaking on the Olympics.

What is breaking?

Let’s start with the basics first. Breaking is an urban discipline focussed on dance combined with extreme skills. It combines high energy with smooth footwork and amazing acrobatics. This dance-style originated in the 70s in The Bronx, New York. It was an essential part of the upcoming hip-hop culture. The dancers are known as B-girls and B-boys. They perform on beats directed by the DJs and MCs. All combined it looks something like this:

Breaking combines several types of moves. You have toprock, downrock, power moves, freezes and transitions. Toprock moves are done standing. These moves set the rhythm and style for the rest of the routine. Downrock moves, aka foot- or floor work, are moves performed while the B-boys and girls are on the ground. Look out for the power moves! They are some of the sickest acrobatic and athletic moves during a routine. Think flips, spins and rotations. Transitions are key in all this, as they link moves together into a smooth routine. Finally there are freezes. Freezes literally stop the pose or moves of the breakers. It is the ultimate test of balance and strength. Now you know what to look out for in the upcoming breaking routines ;).

The rules and points

During the games, 16 B-boys and 16 B-girls will compete. The games start with a “Round Robin”. These are 1 vs 1 battles between breakers. Only the winner of each round continues. The winner continues to the solo-battles in the quarterfinals. The jury will hand out points for technique, creativity, musicality and overall performance. All members of the jury are professionals. They know all the ins and outs of breaking or even competed themselves once. After the solo-battle, they will hand out the points. The best 8 continue to the semifinals. The semifinals are also solo-battles. These will determine if the B-boys and girls will compete for bronze or gold.

Where and when?

All this happens in Paris at La Concorde! It is located in the heart of the city-centre. All the urban disciplines incl. skateboarding and BMX will compete here. Breaking starts on August 9, where the B-girls will kick-off the tournament. First is Round Robin at 16:00. After that are the quarterfinals. They start at 20:00 and end at 20:21. The semifinals are from 20:45 - 20:52. After that is the B-girl battle for bronze at 21:14. The battle for gold starts at 21:23. It is a quite long day so make sure to pack enough water and food! The B-boys compete August 10 with the same time-schedule as the girls.