B.C. breakdancer wins world championship, sets eyes on 2024 Olympic debut

Click to play video: 'Local man wins gold in world championships of breakdancing'
Local man wins gold in world championships of breakdancing
The 2024 Olympcs are featuring breaking for the first time and a local man will likely be a contender. On This is BC, Jay Durant introduces us to the moves of Philip Kim – Nov 1, 2022

Breakdancing or ‘breaking’ is set to make its Olympic debut in 2024, and a Vancouver man who recently claimed a gold medal at the sport’s recent world championship is poised to be a contender.

Philip Kim just beat out more than 250 competitors to win his first World Breaking Championship, which also led to his first taste of fame.

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“I had a lot of people coming up, asking for signatures and pictures, which is very new for me,” Kim, who is also known as Phil Wizard, told Global’s This is BC.

It’s taken a lot of sweat and hard work to get to this level.

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Kim said he was first hooked watching a performance as an 11 year old, and was blown away when he saw a street show by a Vancouver crew called “Now or Never.”

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“They were spinning on their heads, they were flying,” Kim said. “When I saw it, the first thing I thought was I could totally get girls with that, that’s so cool.”

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One of the breakers of Now Or Never became an early teacher and mentor to Kim after he signed up for summer camps.

“There are a few people who would try it and they’d drop out really, quick,” said Jheric Hizon of Now or Never and owner of the Boogaloo Academy.

“He was just one of those kids who kept wanting to learn more.”

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At age 25, Kim is now breaking as a full-time job, with sponsors backing his journey. The incredible athleticism required demands a lot of training, four to six hours a day, five to six days a week.

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“It takes over my whole life. So most of my day, Monday to Friday when people are working, my work is just training,” Kim explained.

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Breakdancing had its breakout in the early 1980s and has since evolved to capture the creativity of performing artists everywhere.

“It started in the Bronx, but now it’s all over the world. People from very different backgrounds,” Kim said.

Phil Wizard has won medals at many international competitions. His recent victory now has as the world’s number-one-ranked B-Boy in the quest for the Olympics, and a gold medal favorite for 2024.

“It’s not just potentially a first for Canada but first for the world,” Kim said.

“This is the first time that breaking is making its debut for the Olympics in Paris so it’s an exciting time for everybody.”

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