Tahiti offers to host Olympic surfing in 2024
OK, two Olympic articles in two days, and this one doesn't even have a picture of the Rock Steady Crew - apologies.
Following news that the upcoming Tokyo Olympics would hold its surfing event in the ocean, and that if surfing was included in the Paris 2024 games it too would go natural, French Polynesia has pressed its claim to hold the surfing there.
Last week, French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch headed a delegation which met with Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet. Despite being located almost 16,000 kilometres away in the Pacific Ocean, Fritch said the overseas territory would like to be considered for the job.
Fritch was quoted in local media as saying the islands had "strength and experience" in international surfing competitions, as well as a "great sensitivity to the environment".
The main island of Tahiti was be put forward as the proposed location, and though that's as far as the reporting went we can assume they have Teahupoo in mind.
French Polynesia is up against three rival bidders closer to home on the French mainland: Biarritz, Lacanau, and La Torche, all of which are in easy reach from Paris.
Yet there's still a chance surfing could be scrapped from the 2024 program if the competition flops when it debuts in Tokyo next year. It's only provisionally included and won't be ratified till December 2020. It's then that International Olympic Committee observers will meet to assess how surfing fared in regards to excitement it generated plus the number of live and broadcast viewers it attracted.
Surfing is among four new sports at the Tokyo Olympics. The others being sport climbing, skateboarding, and breakdancing.