How ‘Raygun’ the researcher was picked to represent Australia at the Olympics

Key Points
  • Breakdancing will debut as a sport at the Paris Olympics this summer.
  • Two Australians have already qualified to represent the country.
  • Dancers will be judged on their creativity, personality, technique, variety, performativity and musicality.
A high school student and a university lecturer will compete for gold as Australia’s first ever Olympic breakers.
After dancing their way to an Olympic berth by winning the Oceania breaking championships last year, Jeff “J-Attack” Dunne and Rachael “Raygun” Gunn will be among 16 men and 16 women breakers from around the world to compete in Paris.
The pair were officially selected to the national team on Saturday and will now prepare to tear up the famed Place de la Concorde in Paris in August.

Born in the Philippines and adopted by an Australian family as a baby, 16-year-old Dunne is among the youngest athletes to represent the nation at the major international multi-sport event.

“When I saw the scoreboard (at the Olympic qualifying event), I told myself I wouldn’t cry,” Dunne said.
“Then I saw my family and my friends soaked in tears, so I just had to let my emotions go.
“I train hard, four to six hours every day, working on style, the way I move, working on routines and trying to upgrade my dynamic ability.
“It feels like so much hard work and dedication, trying to get better and showing who I am through dance, has paid off.”
While Dunne’s breakdancing journey began when he was seven, Gunn has a different story.
Now 36 going on 37, the Macquarie University interdisciplinary and practice-based researcher stumbled into breakdancing in her mid-20s through her husband.
“It’s something I absolutely never thought would happen,” Gunn said.

“My students initially think I’m joking and don’t believe me, but once they realise I’m telling the truth, they get so excited and tell me they’re going to be cheering for me.”

Australian breakers Jeff Dunne aka “J-Attack” and Rachael Gunn aka “Raygun” pose for photographs ahead the AUSBreaking Battle Series in Redfern, Sydney, Saturday, February 24, 2024. Source: AAP / Dan Himbrechts

Dunne and Gunn will be judged on their creativity, personality, technique, variety, performativity and musicality when they take on the world’s best dancers in one-on-one battles.

Deputy Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic team Kaarle McCulloch welcomed the duo’s selection.
“It is a remarkable achievement to be named to an Olympic team, but to be the first in your sport to represent Australia at the Olympic level is a particularly special milestone,” McCulloch said.
“Both athletes are outstanding ambassadors for their sport and I look forward to Aussies getting to know breaking and supporting Jeff and Rachael in Paris.”

More Australian breakers have the opportunity to qualify for Paris through the Olympic qualifying series in Shanghai and Budapest.

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