Paris 2024: It could be worse

Published on December 3rd, 2019

At the Olympic Games, the host City is responsible for providing suitable venues for each sport. As the proximity of venue locations can significantly vary, the ability for athletes to get the “Olympic Experience” is dependent on how close they are to the action.

For Sailing, there have been Games when the site is so distant that attending the Opening Ceremonies is not logistically possible, and the vibe of the venue lacks the spark of this quadrennial competition. But occasionally Sailing gets lucky with coastal hosts, as it did in Barcelona 1992, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, and Rio 2016.

The plan for Tokyo 2020 was for Sailing to be in the City, but when a nearby airport presented a conflict for the broadcast, the venue moved 60 kilometers to the south in Enoshima. The upside will be better wind conditions, and with recent reports of pollution in Tokyo Bay, better health conditions too.

But looking ahead at the Paris 2024 Olympics, the French capital is far from the coastline, so the Sailing events will be a 775 kilometers drive to Marseille. That’s a massive distance in the history of the Olympics, though nothing compared to what’s being discussed for the Surfing events.

The Pacific island of Tahiti has reportedly emerged as the leading candidate to host surfing events, located 15,700 kilometres from Paris, and while International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach admitted the IOC would prefer a venue “closest to the center of the Games”, he conceded the decision rests with Paris 2024.

Paris 2024 claimed its main criteria in choosing the location of surfing would be the venue’s “experience in hosting surfing competitions, weather conditions, the quality of the body of water, and facilities for hosting athletes and spectators”.

Source:, Scuttlebutt

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