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May 18, 2024

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A balance between work and sport of breaking not easy for Canadian B-girl

Canadian B-girl Tiffany Leung is among the 80 breaking athletes who will compete in the Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai.

Changing her hoodie for formal business attire, Leung immediately transforms into a professional and confident employee of Deloitte, one of the world’s biggest accounting firms.

“Breaking by night and breaking ground with clients by day” is Leung’s life motto. The 28-year-old is seeking the opportunity to qualify for and compete in the Paris Olympic Games in August.

Having spent her childhood in Hong Kong before moving to Canada, Leung joined Deloitte Canada in 2017 as a consultant for AI strategy projects. She helps clients identify how to apply AI to their business to improve operations.

Her interest in breaking started a decade ago in university when she was 18.

“Breaking represents a large part of who I am,” Leung told Shanghai Daily. “I feel the freedom and connection to my mind, body and soul when I break.”

Leung admitted that after becoming a consultant at a top accounting firm, the balance between work and breaking was not easy to achieve.

“I previously found managing my two careers quite tricky,” she said. “When focusing on work, it was challenging to dedicate sufficient time to my training. But both breaking and work are very important to me, and I wanted to find the balance between the two.”

Leung was thankful that when her colleagues and company leaders learned that she was aiming to participate in the Olympics, they showed her support.

“We agreed that I could work on a part-time basis — working Monday to Wednesday. This means I have Thursday and Friday to focus on my training,” she said.

A lot of breaking athletes learn the moves and train themselves with the help of videos and sport communities. For Leung, her occupation provides some training solutions.

“I coach myself. I basically apply to myself the same framework that I do to my AI strategy projects,” she said.

“I set my objectives and goals, break them down into activities, and then set milestones for each objective,” she explained.

“There are so many things to learn and practice in breaking, and sometimes I panic because it just feels endless. However, when I see my plan and how I have progressed against that plan, I feel much more confident because I can visualize and see how much I have improved.”

Leung even found synergies between breaking and her business role.

“They both require the same level of dedication and passion. In breaking, I often need to analyze movements, develop strategies to execute complex routines and adapt quickly to new challenges. These skills directly translate to my work, where I apply strategic thinking and creativity to solve complex business problems for clients,” she said.

“Additionally, both breaking and consulting require continuous learning and improvement, whether it’s mastering new dance moves or staying updated with the latest industry trends and technologies.”

As a multiple champion of national breaking competitions in Canada, Leung’s goal in Shanghai is clear and simple — to get a good result and secure a position in the Paris Games.

“Breaking is making its Olympic debut in Paris, and I want to share my style with the world,” she said. “Breaking has saved me from really hard times by giving me passion and purpose. I hope people watching me will also be inspired.”

Having arrived in Shanghai on Monday, Leung’s preparation for the Olympic Qualifier Series involves intense training sessions focusing on refining her skills, stamina and creativity to assure her best performance on the competition stage.

The preliminaries are scheduled today, while the round robin and finals will be held tomorrow.

According to the rules, 40 men and 40 women breaking athletes are competing for a total of 100 points split equally between Shanghai and the second part of the qualifier series in Budapest, Hungary. The top-ranked seven men and seven women athletes after the two qualifiers will win entry to the Paris Olympic Games.

Hangzhou Asian Games women’s champion Liu Qingyi of the Chinese national breaking team has already earned a ticket to Paris.

Other athletes, including Chinese B-boys Shang Xiaoyu and Zhang Xinjie, have to showcase their skills to score higher in the qualifiers.


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