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Paris 2024 approves Tahiti as Olympic surfing venue

The Teahupo’o wave is internationally recognised as among the best in the world for surfing. BRIAN BIELMANN/AFP via Getty Images

The Paris 2024 executive board have approved Tahiti as the site for surfing competitions at the Olympic games, organisers have announced.

Organisers describe Teahupo'o, which is located towards the south-east of the island of Tahiti, as "one of the cradles of surfing", but the choice of venue would set a new record as the furthest distance between two Olympic events being held as part of the same Games. Teahupo'o is 9,769.99 miles (15,723.27 kilometers) away from central Paris.

The previous record was set during the 1956 Summer Olympics, when the equestrian events were held in Stockholm, 9,692 miles (15,690 km) away from host city Melbourne, with Australia being an inconvenient place to host the competition with the country's quarantine regulations meaning horses would have to spend six months in quarantine before being allowed into the country.

The decision will need to be approved by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which will meet in January to discuss the proposal.

"This site, which fits perfectly with the vision of Paris 2024, will strengthen the spectacular nature of the project, showing the world some extraordinary images not only of the discipline itself, but of France as well," organisers said in a statement.

"The choice of Tahiti as a site is a way of involving a new geographical area, using France's overseas territories and their people as a location for the first time in the history of the Games, and showcasing the wealth and diversity of France and its culture to be found outside the continent.

"It will allow Paris 2024 to resonate all the way to the heart of the Pacific Ocean and organise sporting and popular celebrations day and night during the Games."

Four french cities, Biarritz Pays Basque, Lacanau-Bordeaux Métropole, La Torche and Hossegor-Seignosse-Capbreton had bid to be the host site for the surfing event along with Tahiti. Organisers said the four other bids were of a high standard, but chose Tahiti because of the "exceptional competition conditions it offers athletes".

Should the plan be approved, the 48 athletes competing will be flown to Paris for the second week of the Games, allowing them to experience the Olympic village and take part in the Closing Ceremony.

Paris 2024 have also confirmed plans to build a 35,000-seater stadium in Place de la Concorde for the Games, though it has not confirmed which sports will be played there yet.

Paris will join London as the only city to host the Olympics three times (1900, 1924, 2024) after being awarded the games in 2017.