It’s not the most obvious sport, but in 2024 breakdance will really be part of the Olympic program in Paris. Three-time world champion Menno van Gorp hopes to try for gold in 3.5 years, even though he has to see the dance style as a sport for the first time in his life.
“I never dreamed of participating in the Games because I never really approached it as a sport,” Van Gorp says in a conversation with NU.nl. “It is of course good that we are getting the appreciation now. It is an extreme boost to breakdancing that we are part of the Olympic program.”
It was no longer much of a surprise that breakdancing became an Olympic sport, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave the green light in June 2019, subject to change. On Monday, confirmation came that in addition to breakdancing, skateboarding, rock climbing and surfing will be on the program in 2024.
The IOC announcement has raised eyebrows among critics, who fail to see why breakdancing should become an Olympic sport. Many people wonder if the style of dancing can be called a sport.
“I’ve been hearing this discussion for a while now: whether it’s more of a sport, a lifestyle or an art form,” says Van Gorp, 31. “Mostly, I let it pass, because you can’t put a mark on breakdancing at all. It’s so special to me. It’s a lifestyle. I don’t think the discussion is that much. important. “
Menno van Gorp hopes to compete in the Olympics in 2024. (Photo: Pro Shots)
“ Some break dancers are afraid that the culture will disappear ”
Still, there are a number of breakdancing dancers who do not expect their hobby to be called sports at all. In the past, the dance style was always seen as a form of expression and not as a competition in the form of competition.
“There are breakdancing dancers who fear that the culture is going away now. Thirty years ago you used to call it the jam when you were going to dance somewhere and now you quickly go to a competition. I’m not so afraid that the culture will disappear, because breakdancing is that it will not disappear, ”underlines Van Gorp.
The born Tilburger sees the promotion of breakdance in Olympic sport primarily as something positive. Van Gorp will soon be 34 at the start of the 2024 Olympics, but that doesn’t stop him in his pursuit of Olympic qualification.
“I’m already one of the oldest breakdance dancers on the scene, but I don’t expect my age to be a problem. I’m very confident in my body and feeling younger and younger. If I maintain my body properly and as a working athlete for the Games then it will be a great tournament for me, ”said Van Gorp.