Breaking in Olympics: What Do India’s Top Breakers Have to Say?
The Quint talks to India’s top breakers to know how they feel about breaking being included in the 2024 Olympics.
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided the event program and the athlete quotas for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games with 'breaking' – a competitive form of breakdancing, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing – being confirmed as an additional sports proposed by the Paris 2024 organising committee.
For breakers in India, this is more than just an opportunity to represent their country, it means recognition for their art, which they have been practicing for years.
“People will finally have their eyes on us because they were never exposed to this culture or this style of dancing. They always thought that this is just for the streets but they never recognised the hard work that we put in. Because it takes a lot to be a b-boy and it takes a lot to be a b-girl. The process isn’t that simple. No one can become a b-boy or a b-girl in a day or a week.”Arif Chaudhary, Flying Machine
India’s top breakers Arif and Ramesh who go by their stage names Flying Machine and Tornado respectively are definitely excited at the prospect of representing their country at the Olympics. They have represented the country in several international competitions hosted by the likes of RedBull, but Olympics is “on another level.”
But India’s breaking scene has never been given any recognition and has mostly worked and celebrated itself in silos. The debate remains that despite the art getting an Olympic status, will the breakers get the same respect as that of a sportsperson.
“We were never given the same importance as an athlete. Even as a dancer, in my experience I would say that it will bring the art to the limelight. The hard work, and the time that we have spent behind this has finally gotten justice.”Arif Chaudhary, Flying Machine
“We might be respected, we might not. I don’t know. Those who know about breaking, about the b-boys and b-girls they respect us. I don’t know how India will react when they learn about this dance form. But if we need more respect, India will have to win gold.”Ramesh Yadav, B-boy Tornado
While our breakers believe that India can make history at the 2024 Olympics, and they will be starting their preparations soon, only time will tell what is in store for India’s (publicly) emerging breaking scene.
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