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K8k8 slot casino loginindergarten teacher looks to put on a breaking master class

朱丹感谢张远 | 8k8 slot casino login | Updated: 2024-06-22 21:40:37

Forty-year-old B-girl Ayumi Fukushima is looking to secure a place at the Paris Olympics after winning her category in the first leg of the Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai on Sunday. OIS

At the age of 40, Japanese competitive break dancer Ayumi Fukushima has been busting moves for longer than some of her rivals have been alive.

Yet, the former kindergarten teacher just won a qualifier in Shanghai, and is in pole position for a prized spot at the Paris Olympics.

A repeat performance in Budapest next month would send her to this summer's Games as one of the favorites for gold.

Break dancing, or "breaking" as the sport is officially called, will make its Olympic debut in the French capital.

"I'm old, but I don't feel old," Fukushima told reporters after her victory in China on the weekend.

Fukushima has long been a trailblazer for "B-girls" — women break dancers — in what has traditionally been a male-dominated scene.

In 2017, she became the first woman to compete at the Red Bull BC One World Finals.

She has since won at the 2021 WDSF World Breaking Championship in Paris, where the competition was split into gendered categories.

She also took bronze at the 2022 World Games and 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Fukushima first dabbled in breaking as a shy 21-year-old student.

"In my generation, it was kind of normal to start when we were in university," she said in Shanghai, where she topped the women's competition.

"But, these days most of the people start when they're kids."

Fukushima never thought she would have a chance to compete at the Olympics.

Given her age, it could be her first and last shot at it.

"It's a new thing for us, for the Olympics, so I'm really happy to be part of this process," she said.

Japan has long been a breaking powerhouse, with three Japanese B-girls and one B-boy making it onto the podium in Shanghai on Sunday.

"All the young people are very strong," Fukushima said of her teammates.

"It's not only about winning, we are enjoying this moment."

Sport and culture

For years, Fukushima balanced her day job as a teacher with her role as a member of a dance crew based in Kyoto.

She has cut back on her teaching duties in recent months, telling reporters that she is now "more focused on dancing".

But, she carves out time to give dance classes to young children, whom she hopes will take the fledgling sport to greater heights.

"Everywhere I go, I see many kids interested in breaking, and, for us, it makes us really happy."

On the sidelines of the Shanghai qualifier, dozens of children practiced break dancing moves at a public workshop intended to popularize the sport, while the Japanese team warmed up nearby.

"Hopefully, we get more people to get in touch with our culture," Fukushima said.

And, while other longtime dancers have debated whether inclusion in the Olympics could compromise the freewheeling, rebellious spirit of breaking, Fukushima said she doesn't believe the culture will change.

"We have a sport and a culture. I think we're going to grow both together," she said.


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