Lausanne: Tahiti’s bid to host the surfing competitions at the 2024 Paris Olympics has not met with resistance from the IOC despite its remote location, according to the head of the competition’s organizing committee.
The French Polynesian island of almost 200,000 inhabitants is a full 15,700km (9,755 miles) and a 23-hour flight away from the French capital.
However, it has emerged as the frontrunner to serve as the host venue for a sport that will make its Olympic debut at next year’s Tokyo Games.
The village of Teahupo’o, a regular stop on the World Surf League circuit, boasts some of the biggest waves on the surfing map with regular large waves guaranteed in August.
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Asked whether he felt any reluctance on the part of IOC about Tahiti potentially staging the surfing events, Estanguet replied: “No.”
“No decision on the agenda. It was more of an information session for the executive committee,” he said on the sidelines of a meeting of the IOC’s executive committee.
“The IOC is very much at ease with our methodology, our criteria, the fact we’re discussing with our board of directors and that we’ll then come back next year with a proposition for ratification.”
Four other sites closer to the 2024 Olympic village are still in the running including surfing hotspots in Biarritz and Brittany.
IOC president Thomas Bach is on record as preferring the candidate closest to the host city if there are multiple locations of equal merit.