An Australian breakdancer with a doctorate and a university professorship is shaking up the image of sport as she prepares for the Paris Olympics.
But Rachael Gunn wants us to know that she is one of thousands of thugs with very different stories.
In the 1970s, extremely talented African-American and Latino youth created the sport of station wagon riding in the Bronx, New York. Some 50 years later, it will make its debut at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
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Gunn, 36, a full-time lecturer at Macquarie University in Sydney, has encountered breakers with wildly different stories since he took up the sport about 10 years ago.
“There are people involved in social work, nurses, lawyers, a lot of people involved in dance, so teaching dance and running studios, and then there are also people who work in corporate jobs, like in sales,” Gunn told Wide World. sports.
“There are also different religious backgrounds and different religious affiliations.
“It’s definitely one of the few spaces I visit, in Australia but also in the world, that is so completely diverse.”
Gunn completed a PhD in cultural disruption and is a lecturer in media, creative arts, literature and language.
“Breaking is such a diverse activity and I think it’s because you don’t need equipment, you don’t need expensive entry fees or membership fees, it’s really something very approachable,” she said.
“It’s something I’m so passionate about.
“I’m sure I’m changing the image of what people think of the average breaker, but I also want people to realize that he’s so diverse and… I don’t want to be just the face.”
Gunn, nicknamed “Raygun”, and Australian teenager Jeff Dunne, nicknamed “J-Attack”, qualified for Paris 2024 by winning the Oceania Olympics qualifying event in October.
Gunn traveled from Sydney to Canberra last week to attend the Australian National Olympic Changemakers Summit, where 24 bright students presented their ideas for sport in Australia to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
Gunn joined Olympians Sami Kennedy-Sim, Mack Horton and Nathan Katz in Parliament, watching student presentations as mentors.
Gunn leads a busy life, but almost everything she does revolves around breaking up.
“I’m constantly balancing all these different aspects of my life, but I think because a lot of my research is also about breakup, it feels like my whole life is about breaking up. breakup, in all honesty,” she said with a laugh.
“So I go from training and…conditioning and preparing for competitions to interviewing Australian breakers or analyzing interviews, or reading or writing or editing “articles. So, I go from one mode to another but everything is really centered around the break.”