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Sunny Choi is first U.S. woman to qualify for Olympic breaking

Sunny Choi

LEUVEN, BELGIUM - SEPTEMBER 23: Grace Choi called Sunny from United States performs on stage during her exibition during B-girl Pre-Selection Allocations at the WDSF World Breaking Championship 2023 on September 23, 2023 in Leuven, Belgium. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

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Sunny Choi won the Pan American Games to become the first American woman to qualify for breaking’s Olympic debut in Paris.

In January, the 34-year-old Choi quit her job as director of global creative operations at skincare and makeup company Estee Lauder to focus on breaking full-time.

She placed 17th at the world championships in September, one year after taking silver at the World Games.

One more U.S. woman can qualify for breaking’s Olympic debut via competition results next May and June.

MORE: List of athletes qualified for U.S. Olympic team

On the men’s side, American Victor Montalvo qualified for Paris by winning worlds.

In breaking, athletes compete in one-on-one battles on a dance floor, taking alternate turns that last approximately one minute and are scored by a panel of judges.

Breakers do not know what songs will be played in advance, and they must improvise to the beat of the DJ’s tracks.

Breaking debuted at the Youth Olympics in 2018 and was provisionally added for the 2024 Paris Games in June 2019, then confirmed in December 2020.

It is not on the program for Olympic Games beyond Paris.