Paris 2024 is aiming to take celebrations to new heights and treat audiences to breath-taking sports – in the spirit that has guided the Olympic Games since their inception. It has added four spectacular disciplines, including surfing, and hand-picked spots and venues to match them.
The spot for the Paris 2024 surfing competition will play a critical role: the waves need to be optimal for surfers and wow fans at the same time. Five world-class sites made the short list to host these events, illustrating the wealth and variety of France’s coastlines. On 3 March 2020, the IOC’s Executive Board approved Paris 2024’s choice: hosting the surfing events on some of the world’s most stunning waves, at Teahupo’o.
Organising the surfing events in Tahiti in late-July/early-August will provide optimal conditions for athletes. The waves at Teahupo’o will face them with an Olympic-class challenge, and treat fans in Tahiti and around the world to a breath-taking experience.
Tahiti will host a one-of-a-kind competition in a spot that surfers the world over revere: Teahupo’o has been hosting the Pro Tahiti world championship event for over two decades, is one of the highlights on the Men’s Championship Tour, and was part of the Women’s circuit from 1999 to 2006.
Kelly Slater (five-time Teahupo’o event winner and 11-time world champion):
“Moving the event to Tahiti will add something special to these Games in France. It’s this kind of spot where surf is seen and admired as it should be. Teahupo’o is a perfect choice.”
Jérémy Flores (French surfer):“Teahupo’o is a dream spot. The waves there are among the best in the world. And then there’s Tahitian culture, the audience…”
Featuring Overseas France
This decision tallies with Paris 2024’s aim to spread the Games across France. The IOC Executive Board’s decision to host the surfing events at Teahupo’o has enabled Paris 2024 to include a new geography, French Polynesia, one of the world’s longest-standing surfing havens. It is also providing Paris 2024 with an opportunity to include Overseas France and its people in the Olympic Games – for the first time ever – while showcasing the diversity and abundance of France’s heritage.
The competition venue has been designed to protect the island’s extraordinary natural surroundings. The Athletes Village will be made up of modular homes, which will become social housing units after the Games. The event will not affect the coastline because the waves break offshore. And fans will be able to enjoy the thrills and chills at the live sites, while celebrating Polynesian culture, the Olympic spirt and Paris 2024’s values.
Photo credit: FFSurf