Breakdancing cleared its final hurdle to feature in the Olympics on Monday, bringing the wholly original, electric art form to sport’s biggest stage.

The International Olympic Committee’s pursuit of urban events to lure a younger audience and refresh its sports program to remain relevant saw street dance battles officially added to the medal events program for Paris 2024.

Also confirmed for Paris by the IOC executive board were skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing.

Those three sports will make their Olympic debuts at the Tokyo Games which were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic by one year to open on July 23, 2021.

Paris Games organisers have said they want to deliver a program that is in keeping with the times and will attract a new and younger audience.

Breakdancing will be called breaking at the Olympics, as it was in the 1970s by hip-hop pioneers in the United States, and has been given a prestige downtown venue, joining sport climbing and 3-on-3 basketball at Place de le Concorde.

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Surfing will be held more than 15,000 kilometres away in the Pacific Ocean off the beaches of Tahiti, as the IOC already agreed in March.

Under new IOC rules first introduced for the Tokyo, Olympic host cities can hand-pick sports and propose them for inclusion in those Games if they are popular in that country and add to the appeal.

The IOC trimmed the overall events for Paris by 10 to 329 compared to the Tokyo Games next year to reduce costs while increasing mixed gender events from 18 in Tokyo to 22 in four years time.

“With this program, we are making the Olympic Games Paris 2024 fit for the post-corona world…” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement.

“There is also a strong focus on youth,” he added.

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The IOC also capped the total athlete quota to exactly 10,500.

The recent summer Olympics had registered an increase to more than 11,000.

There will also be exactly 50 per cent men and 50 per cent women athletes in Paris, up from 48.8 per cent women in Tokyo.

“While we will achieve gender equality already at the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, we will see for the first time in Olympic history the participation of the exact same number of female athletes as male athletes,” Bach said.

AAP

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