Dec 12, 2019 - Sports

Paris proposes holding Olympic surfing competition 10,000 miles away in Tahiti

Owen Wright of Australia wins the 2019 Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o

The waves in Tahiti during the 2019 World Surf League. Photo: Matt Dunbar/WSL via Getty Images

The organizers of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris proposed that Tahiti host its surfing events, despite the fact that the Pacific island is 10,000 miles away from the city, the Guardian reports.

The big picture: Surfing will be added to the Summer Olympics for the first time next year in Tokyo. Compared to France, big waves are much more likely to occur off the coast of Tahiti, part of semi-autonomous French Polynesia.

The other side: There are environmental concerns about hosting the competition at a location that requires a 20-hour flight from Paris.

  • France argued that only 48 surfers will be competing — and some will be traveling from Australia and New Zealand, which are relatively close.
  • It also notes that hosting the surfing competition in Tahiti will likely draw fewer spectators than an alternate location in France, like Biarritz or Lacanau.

What's next: The International Olympic Committee still has to approve the decision.

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