Tahiti is located in the Pacific Ocean, 15,000 kilometers from Paris. It takes about 23 hours to fly there and the island is almost as far away on the planet as you can get from the French capital.

Nevertheless, this is where the Olympic organizers now want the game's surfing contests to be decided. Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia with around 200,000 inhabitants, is thus chosen over alternatives along the French Atlantic coast, in the southwestern part of the country and in Brittany. Never before have Olympic competitions been arranged further from the main city than the case then is.

"Incredibly nice surprise"

It is the International Surfing Association that has chosen Tahiti as the organizer site, and today the Organizing Committee approved the approval.

"It is an incredibly pleasant surprise and recognition of our history that will bring the honor back to Polynesia, where the surfing occurred," said Lionel Teihotu, president of the Tahiti Surfing Association.

"Tahiti was an exceptional alternative that offers our athletes and our sports spectacular conditions for optimal competitions," says International Surfing Association chairman Fernando Aguerre, according to Reuters news agency.

Must be approved by the IOC

The decision is in conflict with the International Olympic Committee chair Thomas Bach, who this summer commented on the Tahiti proposal as follows:

"If you have two or more alternatives that give the same sporting conditions, then I definitely prefer the alternative that is closest to the core of the game, so that athletes and crowds can take part in the Olympic atmosphere," Bach said in July according to The Guardian.

However, it is not completely nailed that there will be competitions in Tahiti. The decision must be approved by the IOC's Executive Committee.