Mon, 11 Dec 2023

The South Pacific island of Tahiti has been approved as the site of the 2024 Paris Olympics surfing venue even though it is 15,000 kilometres away from the French capital.

The French Polynesian island in the Pacific Ocean was singled-out in December as the preferred option over rival beaches on the French mainland in Biarritz, Lacanau, Les Landes and La Torche.

The International Olympic Committee approved the move at its executive board meeting on Tuesday, while also approving the Place de la Concorde in central Paris as the site for its urban sports "cluster".

The move to Tahiti is one of the longest distances between an event and the host city at any Olympic Games.

'Spectacular' and 'unique' experience for atheletes

In 1956, the Melbourne Olympics equestrian competition was held in Sweden's Stockholm due to quarantine laws in Australia.

Tahiti was also the preferred choice of the International Surfing Association.

Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet in a statement: "We are delighted that the IOC Executive Board has approved the Teahupo'o site in Tahiti for the organization of the surfing competitions and Place de la Concorde for the urban sports events.

"This marks another milestone with our ambition to deliver spectacular and sustainable Games that will offer a unique experience for athletes."

Surfing will made its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games at Shidashita Beach, 60 kilometres north of of the Japanese capital.

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Originally published on RFI

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