Santiago, Chile –
Canada’s Philip Kim won the first-ever Pan American Games gold in men’s breaking on Saturday and qualified for the Olympic Games.
The 26-year-old from Vancouver, known as B-Boy Phil Wizard in break dancing circles, defeated Jeff (B-Boy Jeffro) Louis of the United States 3-0 in the final battle.
Breaking made its Pan Am Games debut in Santiago, Chile. The sport will also be an Olympic event for the first time in Paris next year.
“It means a lot,” Kim said. “This whole pathway since the beginning of this year, even last year, with the whole Olympics being introduced to breaking, it’s been an incredible experience. To be a part of history for me, really means the world.”
Kim won the 2022 men’s world breaking championship and placed second this year to Victor Montalvo of the United States.
The Canadian said he just needed to make Saturday’s Pan Am Games final to secure his Paris berth because two U.S. men couldn’t get direct Olympic quotas in breaking.
“Going into the final, I’d already secured my spot, but it honestly gave me more of a push because it would have been bittersweet to secure my spot to Paris and then lose the battle,” Kim said.
“So I had to push extra to get the win as well. Honestly, the Olympic place means more to me. I want to be there. I want to be part of history.”
Kim injured his neck warming up for Friday’s preliminary battles and said he was grateful for Canadian team support staff’s work getting him ready to compete Saturday.
Toronto’s Tiffany (B-Girl Tiff) Leung lost her bronze-medal battle 3-0 to Vicki (B-Girl La Vix) Chang of the United States.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2023.