Four Team Canada athletes set to make history in breaking’s Pan American Games debut at Santiago 2023
TORONTO (August 25, 2023) – Canada DanceSport (CDS) and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s breaking team nominated to compete at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. With four competitors, Canada qualified the maximum athlete quota for breaking’s debut at the Pan American Games.
The Team Canada breaking team for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is:
Philip Kim, who goes by ‘B-Boy Phil Wizard’ during breaking competitions, qualified for Santiago 2023 by winning the gold medal at the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) Pan American Championships in May, which also took place in Santiago. Kim, who won Canada’s first world title in breaking at the 2022 WDSF World Championships, is also currently first in the Olympic Qualification System Ranking List. Known for his creativity and originality in the breaking world, the Toronto-born B-boy who now lives in Vancouver will look to continue to make history as the sport makes its Pan American Games debut.
“It’s been a crazy journey already as we draw closer to the Olympics. I can feel the energy and anticipation building up more and more everyday, in myself and the people around me,” said Kim. “This is a very exciting time for breaking, and I’m grateful to be among the contenders to be representing Canada at the Games. I hope people fall in love with breaking just as much as I did. I hope to see the spark in the youth watching that I had when I first saw breaking. I hope to represent myself, my family, and my country well. And I’m excited for people to see what I consider the coolest thing in the world.”
Tiffany Leung, who competes as ‘B-Girl Tiff’, qualified for Santiago 2023 by placing in the top-four at the WDSF Pan American Championships, while Emma Misak (‘B-Girl Emma’), and Onton See (‘B-Boy Onton’) qualified based on their WDSF World Ranking.
While breaking will be included at the Pan American Games and Olympic Games for the first time at Santiago 2023 and Paris 2024, respectively, the sport has already experienced a multi-sport Games format. At the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, Emma Misak made history for Canada, winning the silver medal.
“My experience at the Youth Olympics was really fun, it was the first time I made a lot of friends from all around the world, and it was really special to be part of such a historic moment. From this experience I can prepare better for the Pan Am Games. Since that was a very high pressure environment, I have a better idea of what the Pan Am Games will feel like,” said Misak. “I feel extremely grateful to be able to represent Team Canada at Santiago 2023, it is a great opportunity to be part of the Olympic qualification system and I feel ready, I am training my hardest and I know the hard work will pay off.”
Santiago 2023 holds additional significance as an Olympic qualification opportunity. The top-ranked B-boy and top-ranked B-girl not already qualified for Paris 2024 will each earn an Olympic spot for themselves. Santiago 2023 will take place after the 2023 WDSF World Championships, where the winner of each event will receive an Olympic spot.
“We are very proud of the B-boys and B-girls that have qualified for Santiago 2023,” said Geoff Reyes, High Performance Director with CDS Breaking Sports. “Their authenticity and grit in the approach to breaking will be put on display and you will see what separates Canadian style from the rest.”
Breaking, which is the formal term used for breakdancing, is judged on creativity, personality, technique, variety, performativity and musicality. Breakers compete in ‘battles’ between two athletes from the same category (B-Boys or B-Girls). Each battle will feature a fixed number of rounds which follow the same sequence of an athlete beginning with a ‘throw down’, followed by the other athlete responding with their own ‘throw down’. A throw down by each athlete comprises one round within a battle.
Breaking will take place November 3 and 4 (Days 14 and 15) at the Gimnasio Chimkowe Peñalolén.
“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to witness breaking’s debut at the Pan American Games with our amazing team,” said Christine Girard, Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Chef de Mission. “I can already imagine my 5 year old at home doing his very best to mimic their amazing moves; these four talented athletes will inspire so many in their pursuit of an Olympic qualification!”
CDS Breaking Sports Director and High Performance Director Geoff Reyes (Ajax, Ont.) has been nominated as the Team Leader on site at Santiago 2023.
Team Canada’s breaking team’s support staff who had a hand in ensuring the four athletes are able to make history and compete at the Pan American Games are:
Sandy Brittain (Pickering, Ont.) – President, Canada DanceSport
Pinky Wong (Vancouver, B.C.) – Vice-President, Canada DanceSport
Eric Martel (Montreal, Que.) – National Director
Nick Robinson (Toronto, Ont.) – Team Strength and Conditioning Lead
Thaiyo Seo (Vancouver, B.C.) – Team Manager
Glen Reyes (Toronto, Ont.) – Operations and Programming
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.
The latest Team Canada Santiago 2023 roster can be found here.
Kat Bitove, Communications
Tara MacBournie, Team Canada Santiago 2023 Sport Communications Lead
Canadian Olympic Committee