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Tahiti the frontrunner to stage surfing at Paris 2024

Australian Layne Beachley competes during Billabong Pro at Teahupoo, Tahiti (Photo by Pierre Tostee/Getty Images)

The organising committee for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games is considering staging the event’s surfing competitions on the Pacific island of Tahiti.

The AFP news agency, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that Tahiti, which is located in French Polynesia in the South Pacific Ocean, is Paris 2024’s preferred choice ahead of Brittany or Biarritz.

In July, French Polynesia was one of five destinations that officially applied to host surfing events at Paris 2024 alongside Biarritz, the community of municipalities of Le Pays Bigouden Sud (La Torche), Department of Les Landes (Hossegor, Capbreton and Seignosse) and Lacanau – Bordeaux Metropole.

French Polynesia is located some 15,900 kilometres from France and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has previously said that he would prefer a hosting site that is “closest to the centre of the Games”, while insisting that the choice will ultimately be that of Paris 2024.

AFP reported that the matter could be discussed when the Paris 2024 organising committee meets with the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne later this week. “If the IOC validates the project, the choice of Tahiti could be approved at (Paris 2024’s) next board of directors meeting on December 12,” the source told AFP.

Tahiti’s Teahupo’o village is known for its surf break and is more likely to provide suitable conditions in August than the other candidates. Teahupo’o regularly hosts World Championship events.

Surfing will be contested at an Olympics for the first time during the Tokyo 2020 Games next year. Other sports making their Olympic debuts in Tokyo are breakdancing, skateboarding and sport climbing.