By Karolos Grohmann
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – The island of Tahiti was approved as the site of the 2024 Paris Olympics surfing venue on Tuesday even though it is 15,000km away from the French capital in the South Pacific.
The French Polynesian island in the Pacific Ocean was picked in December as the preferred option over rival beaches on the French mainland in Biarritz, Lacanau, Les Landes and La Torche.
The IOC approved the move at its executive board meeting, 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.
The 1956 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.
“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,” said Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet in a statement.
“This marks another milestone with our ambition to deliver spectacular and sustainable Games that will offer a unique experience for athletes.”
Surfing will make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games. The surfing events will take place on four days within an eight-day window at Shidashita Beach, 60km north of Tokyo.
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