Sinn Féin

12/09/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/09/2020 09:19

Recognition of breakdancing as an Olympic sport ‘a great day for Ireland’s dancers’ – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

9 December, 2020 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Gaeilge, Gaeltacht, Arts and Culture, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, has congratulated Ireland's breakdancing community on the news that Breakdancing will appear as a sport at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

DanceSport had been recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee in 1997, and Ice Dancing has been a feature of figure skating at the Winter Olympic Games since 1976, but it took many years of passionate campaigning to gain a place for Breakdancing at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in 2018, and now at the Summer Games in four years' time.

The Dublin South Central TD heralded this as 'a great day for dancing in Ireland and all around the world', as 'young dancers can now dream of Olympic glory' when they go to train and participate in competitions.

Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:

'For too long, dancing has been forgotten by Arts Ministers who neglected dance as the responsibility of Sport, and by Sport Ministers who prioritised funding for other sports, particularly those dominated by men. Even during this pandemic, there have been special rules made for the GAA or where an Irish team or athlete had hopes of international success and maybe an Olympic medal.

'Now with this international recognition of breakdancing at an Olympic level, the Government and Sport Ireland have no excuse but to provide the support needed to ensure Ireland's athletes in the field of dance are not left behind.

'I want to pay particular tribute to the heroic work of Dublin local, Tommy Shaughnessy, respected worldwide for championing the cause of dancing in sport from his time serving as Sports Director of the World DanceSport Federation, the IOC-recognised governing body for dance.

'This development should also act as a gateway towards ensuring all genres of dance, from rince Gaelach to jazz, ballroom, Latin, and hip-hop, all get the recognition and funding they deserve from sporting authorities here in Ireland but also across the world.

'Riverdance showed that Ireland can lead the world in innovative dance, and there is no reason why we should not be aiming for medals in breakdancing at the Paris 2024 Games and hoping to top medal boards across the various dance championships at European and World level every year.

'Dance is the number one physical activity for young and teenage girls in particular, and it needs to be nurtured properly and treated with the same respect and recognition as any other extremely popular sport.'