Olympics-Breaking will get Paris Games jumping, says B-Girl 'Logistx'

Breaking - WDSF World Breaking Championship 2023 - Leuven, Belgium - September 24, 2023 Logistx – Logan Edra of the U.S. in action during the B-girls top 8 REUTERS/Yves Herman/ File Photo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Traditional Olympic sports better watch their backs when breaking makes its Summer Games debut in Paris, as crowds are bound to be drawn to the sport's jaw-dropping moves, American breaker Logan "Logistx" Edra said.

Breaking, known commonly to the uninitiated as breakdancing, was born in the Bronx borough of New York in the 1970s and is now preparing for its moment in the Olympic spotlight when 16 "B-Girls" and 16 "B-Boys" will compete.

"Breaking is going to do so well in Paris," said Edra.

The 21-year-old phenom got her B-Girl name "Logistx" from her father because she always knew how to get to where she wanted to go as a child.

"I pray that we bring the most hype and steal attention from the other sports," she told Reuters.

"They are going to hear the music and they are going to be so curious. Like, what's going on?"

At a dance studio on trendy Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles this week, Edra led a half-dozen aspiring breakers through a high-energy class.

"We need music in our lives!" she shouted to her pupils before turning the volume way up on hip-hop trio Digable Planets' 1992 hit "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)."

Dressed in an oversized green Gogo Squeez hoodie and loose blue Nike sweatpants, she locked into the music and was soon letting loose the head spins, flips and elite footwork that made her the Red Bull BC One World Champion in 2021.

"Are you a B-Girl already?" she asked one beaming student after she pulled off a move.

"We're just having fun, that's all we're doing."

Breaking has been compared to boxing due to the one-on-one nature of its battles and even ring walks and also to gymnastics given the acrobatic skills involved.

But Edra said it is more closely aligned to skateboarding, which also prizes creativity and technical prowess and has rapidly become one of the most popular Olympic sports following its debut at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

She called breaking and skateboarding "art-sports," so it is fitting then that breaking, skateboarding, BMX freestyle and 3X3 basketball will all share the La Concorde open air arena in Paris during the Games.

Despite her amiable personality, Edra is not shy in saying that she is determined to win the first - and given it will not be part of the Los Angeles Olympic program for 2028 - possibly only women's gold medal in breaking.

She is all but certain to punch her ticket to Paris when she competes at the final Olympic qualification series in Budapest later this month, needing only a top 16 finish.

She trains twice a day with mornings focused on building skills and honing technique while evening is reserved for tapping into the creative side, connecting to the music and being in the moment.

"I can be a competitive person so I still train very hard to focus on doing my best to win, but we're artist-athletes," she said.

"It's still subjective to a certain extent. It's whoever is killing it that day. These battles are a very fun, competitive game but it's also inspiring to see all of us bringing our own style."

Born in Chula Vista, California and a second-generation Filipino American, Edra said she sees her wins as a vehicle to spread her message of unity.

"I see any title or championship as a megaphone to amplify any message I want," she said.

"I couldn't care less about the attention for personal satisfaction. I represent the culture, I represent dance, I represent the peace-love community and having fun.

"And also being a student of the game, caring about its evolution, and keeping it alive."

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Amy Tennery and Jamie Freed)

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