Five years from now, between 2 and 18 August, when you hear hip hop sounds and rhythms coming from Paris, you should know that the Olympics have just come. With a bang, with poweroves, freeze, drop, and footwork – because these are the figures of the new Olympic discipline – breakdance.
The Olympic Games have expanded to 339 competitions. This means 339 sets of medals. But also total anonymity of medallists. Even the greatest heroes get lost in the crowd when they are stuck in a niche. But that does not seem to bother anyone.
Olympism is in trouble. The world is changing – not necessarily for the better – and the Olympic movement wants to adapt to that change. It does not strive to restore the Games to their former glory and return to a traditional combat of athletes; it prefers to adapt to the circumstances. It follows the voice of the people, which is common nowadays, just to be on the safe side. People get what they want. People are served what they love.
Next year, in Tokyo, we will see competitions in sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing. There will also be street basketball, which the Head of the IOC likes for the word ‘street’, because it is close to ‘urban’. Luckily, the programme of the Olympic Games has been expanding. A few years ago, wrestling and boxing were on the verge of fading into Olympic oblivion. Poor TV ratings, empty stands in the halls. Those important traditional disciplines nearly suffered the fate of tug-of-war (present at the Olympics until 1920), pelota (only in 1900), and cricket and croquet (also only until 1900).Maybe the demanding art of breakdance is a symbol of a desperate attempt to save the Olympics. Yes, we are talking about saving, because we, fans, spectators, and journalists usually focus on the outcome, full of emotions and beautifully served. Meanwhile, there are fewer and fewer countries that want to host the Olympic summit. In 2024, the Olympic Games will be held in Paris, which was the only candidate after it reached the agreement with Los Angeles. City of Angels will organise the Olympic Games four years later. More and more candidates back out from hosting summer or winter Games, usually after local referenda. Soon, the organisers will be appointed by the IOC, and the disciplines will be imposed and selected for their ‘urban character’. Keep your fingers crossed…