It all started with a Justin Timberlake music video for Karam Singh, who is setting his sights on breaking’s Olympic debut in Paris.
Breaking, also known as breakdancing, is set to wow the world at Paris 2024 as b-boys and b-girls go head-to-head in solo battles with judges scoring on criteria such as creativity, technique and musicality.
The breakers do not know the music they will be dancing to prior to the competition, but there is one thing certain in Singh’s mind, he will be there.
“I really believe in myself, which at times is hard, but I’m at a great place and I just feel like I have so much more to give.
“I really enjoy the Olympic system and I feel like I can use it to my advantage, so I’ve got a good chance, I’ve got a great chance, I’ll be there. I will be there.”
As a seven-year-old in Derby, Singh was transfixed by the skills on show in Timberlake’s production.
He will never forget his first crew Trinity Warriors – even if he did spend their first meeting bothering them with questions.
“They were performing at a community fun fair,” Singh recalled.
“I said, ‘Can I get up and have a go?’ And they let me. I went onstage and embarrassed myself a little bit.
“But I just hung around them like I was one of theirs for the rest of the day to the point where I was just asking them constant questions throughout the day, I didn’t leave them alone.
“I was initially attracted to how cool breaking looked. To me as a youngster, I always wanted to be cool, I always wanted to be confident and cheeky, I wanted to fit into certain places.
“I feel like breaking allowed me to express myself and especially with that crew, it made me feel like I was a part of a movement.
“They gave me something to represent which I really cherished at the time.”
Breakdancing are supported by funding raised by National Lottery players – this funding provides vital assistance on Singh’s pathway to Paris 24.
The 25-year-old, whose competition name is B-Boy Karam, won silver at the European Championships last year.
That performance made him eligible to become Team GB’s first-ever breaking athlete, competing at last month’s European Games where he reached the quarter-finals.
Singh is the star of the new Sky Original show Breaking Point and has got a Nike sponsorship in the bag.
He even rubs shoulders with Florence Nightingale, Lara Croft, Brian Clough and Adam Peaty on Derby’s Walk of Fame.
If you need some self-belief, he’s got plenty going with all eyes on the Games next year.
“I know that I was capable of so much more than that if I just fixed a few things, or I approached things a little bit differently,” he said.
“I felt that I could have taken the gold and I did that without believing I could make the top eight.
“That has given me all the inspiration I need to be like, ‘Oh, I can actually win the next one and by the time the Olympics comes around I am going to be on fire, so nobody has a chance.’
“It just gives me a lot of inspiration from there. And so I feel so good about it. There’s a long way to go, but I know that as long as I pick my moments I can take them.”
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