Expert and former Olympian available to comment on breakdancing as Olympic sport

Angela Scheider

Competitive breakdancing or “breaking” has been added as an official sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The director of Western University’s International Centre for Olympic Studies is available to the media for comment.

Angela J. Schneider, a former Olympian, studies genetic doping in sport, sport medicine ethics, women in sport and embodiment and the philosophy of sport. She won a silver medal at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles as a member of the Canadian coxed four women’s rowing team.

“Some might be asking how is a form of dancing considered to be a sport? Especially an Olympic sport? It’s not the first time the IOC has considered the inclusion of a form of dancing. Under President [Juan Antonio] Samaranch, ballroom dancing was an exhibition sport for a time. Many have argued that sport and art are distinct entities, and that dance is much more strongly associated with art than with sport. However, [Pierre de] Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, imagined an Olympic Games that celebrated both..

“There are those who may view this inclusion of breakdancing more cynically and may not believe that the motivation has anything to do with original Olympic ideals and that instead, it is motivated by marketing. It is no surprise that the IOC has been looking at younger audiences and the decision to include breakdancing, and also skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing which will debut at the postponed Tokyo Games, is in response to these changing interests.”

Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.

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