A graphic of Sunny Choi for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Many athletes at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will share stories of the singular vision they’ve had for themselves since they first gained consciousness that they would be Olympians.
Olympic hopeful Grace “Sunny” Choi wouldn’t be able to say that, but that’s not her fault — her sport has only been on the Olympic program since December 2020.
Breaking, a sport popularly known as breakdancing but known simply as breaking to its fans and practitioners, is the lone new sport on the Paris 2024 program. Choi has been a breaker — or “b-girl” in the community’s parlance — for most of her adult life, having picked up the sport in college. Now 34, Choi has risen to the level of world championships medalist, but the Olympic Games? That was never in the picture.
“My personal reaction to it was like, no way that’s not happening,” said Choi, who lives in New York City. “To me, breaking was too underground, too street to be something that would be performed at an event that was as polished as the Olympics.”
Breaking to Choi was something that filled a void in her life for competition and community.