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Aczino and the controversy that aroused by saying that freestyle is a sport

Aczino during a presentation in Mexico City.  (Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Aczino during a presentation in Mexico City. (Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

The Mexican freestyler Aczino generated a huge stir on social networks with a comment that did not go unnoticed by anyone. The rapper responded to a tweet by commentator David Faitelson, in which the latter asked his followers who they consider to be the best Mexican athlete of the moment. Among the options were saul Cinnamon Alvarez, Serge Czech Perez, Hirving Lozano, and Julio Urias..

Mauricio Hernandezreal name of Aczino, said that the freestyle it is also a sport, which hinted that his name could be included in the list of options – Aczino has won everything in his field and is listed as one of the best in history. The controversy was not long in coming. yesAlthough many fans supported the rapper’s position, there were those who argued that an activity that does not require high-performance physical effort cannot be considered a sport.

They even fell into disqualification, both for the appearance of the competitors and for the mental effort they make —they said that there is nothing special about rhyming “chair” with “squirrel”, although it is clear that the rhymes they handle are much more complex—. In the midst of so much shouting, a pertinent question appears. Is freestyle a sport or not?

There is no doubt: the popularity of this activity has climbed to levels unthinkable a few years ago. And with fame, professionalization has also come. At the beginning of the last decade, in Latin America, it was normal for rap battles to take place in schools and with a clear clandestine touch. In Spain an effort had been undertaken years ago with La Batalla de los Gallos, which came to light in 2005 on the impulse of Red Bulland it was the first mega-event that channeled an activity of urban origin towards professionalism.

Every step towards formality has led to the formation of national and international classifications; for example, to go there, you must first be a national champion. And here it is necessary to frame the difference between freestyle and battle as such: the first is pure action, which an unknown young man can do at home, and the second implies direct competition: there is a winner and a loser, as in all sports. , and performance is judged by judges -in the previous years, the public ruled the winner with applause and screams-.

Another fundamental point towards professionalization came in 2017 with the foundation of the Freestyle Master Series (FMS), which had been cooking for seven years and was finally able to see the light that year thanks to Urban Roosters. In this series, the ten best MC’s in the world face each other. Through events broadcast live, and powerful interaction on social networks, the competitions have gained enormous acceptance among the Spanish-speaking public. Sports brands like Puma, Nike and Adidasthe most relevant in the market, have collaborated with competitors such as Aczino himself and the Argentine Chuty.

The debate is far from over. Even in the freestylers guild they argue about whether what they do is, in fact, a sport or an art. All the more reason, from the door to the outside, the unknown gets bigger. The competitive nuance of the battles is a factor that declines towards sports, including the effort and mental exhaustion made by the participants. In addition to the fact that, as an example, if a battle at the regional level, attended by no more than 200 people, has the support of the FMS, points can be added to the global ranking. That is to say, the organizations begin to cover more spaces to provide structure to all levels of practice, just as in soccer a sixth division team may one day reach the First Division.

Detractors of this activity say that there is no physical effort. The same could be said for chess or poker, which are universally recognized as sports. The example of motorsports is also used, to say that they do not make any physical effort, but the evidence dictates that the pilots do wear themselves out while driving and also have a highly demanding previous preparation.

It is worth retrieving the example of skateboardingwho for many years received stigmas and was removed from “real” sports. The last Olympic Games, in Tokyo 2020, have thrown all prejudices overboard. But, for the professionalization process to be consolidated, there will have to be a worldwide regulatory body, in order to unify criteria and all compete under the same regulations.

Whether you like it or not, whether there is unanimity or not, the truth is that freestyle has all the appearances of being a sport. And if it is not yet, it will be a matter of time.

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