It’s official, Tahiti in French Polynesia is one of three candidates vying to stage surfing at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Pacific Ocean island, 16,000 kilometres from the French capital, is up against three rival bidders closer to home on the French mainland – Biarritz, Lacanau (in the Gironde region), and La Torche (Brittany).
For the uninitiated, Tahiti boasts the Teahupo’o reef break, renowned for “the most dangerous and beautiful waves” in the world.
French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch pressed Tahiti’s claims at a Paris 2024 Board of Directors meeting with Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet last week.
“It was decided at the last Paris 2024 Board of Directors meeting not to use an artificial wave to host the surfing events and instead favor a natural site,” Estanguet said. “We are fortunate in France to have several natural sites that have the experience and expertise to host major international surfing events.”
Surfing, which makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo next year, was one of four additional sports given the green light to appear at Paris 2024 by the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday.
The others were breakdancing (wtf?), skateboarding (yew!) and sport climbing.