SA breakdancer Courtnae Paul thrilled ahead of Budapest Olympic Qualifiers

SA breakdancer Courtnae Paul thrilled ahead of Budapest Olympic Qualifiers

South African breakdancer and Olympic hopeful Courtnae Paul says her preparations for her last Olympic Qualifiers in Budapest, Hungary are going well.

Paul first participated in the first leg of the qualifiers in China, Shangai, where she moved five spots up in the breakdancing world rankings, missing the top 32 spot by one, finishing at number 33. Paul will now travel to Budapest where the qualifiers will take place from 20 to 23 June. Paul says she’s excited ahead of the qualifiers.

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''Preparation is going very well, I'm actually quite excited for it. I feel good, I feel strong, I feel healthy after my last stint at Shangai. Obviously the cold is not great, but the fact that I get to get up everyday and do my moves, makes me happy. I'm looking forward to it, it's going well,'' said Paul.

With breaking, BMX freestyle, skateboarding, and sport climbing being first introduced at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Airesback in 2018, Paul says competing for a spot in the Olympics has shown her that everyone is under the same amount of pressure.

''Biggest takeaway for me would probably be two things - one, never to count myself out. I was seeded initially second to last, I managed to move up five spot that was really exciting for me. It's crazy when you go to competitions like this you immediately think okay cool you we are on the backfoot but not to count yourself out. Number two was that at any level everyone is just doing their best, so no matter what level you're at we're all trying to do the same thing,'' added Paul.

The Durban-born dancer who started doing breakdancing for fun before making it her career says it’s always an honour to represent her country as well as the whole continent.

She shares the challenges she faced with lack of funding and also not having the exact idea on what is expected of her now that breakdancing is a professional sport. She also says even if she doesn’t make it she will still be proud of herself for working so hard.