Why Are Part of the Paris Olympics Taking Place in Tahiti? 

Tall, clear waves like this one make Teahupo’o, Tahiti, one of the greatest places for surfing in the world.

This summer, the Olympic Games will take place in Paris, France. Paris is a bustling city in northern Europe with a population of over 2 million people. While the Paris Olympics will host over 300 events, one of these events will actually take place over 9,000 miles from Paris. 

Teahupo’o is a small fishing village on the island of Tahiti. Only about 1,500 people live there. The island is in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. It takes about 20 hours to fly there from Paris. So why would an event for the Paris Olympics take place there?  The Paris Olympic organizers want to highlight their connections to French Polynesia. Tahiti is part of the territory of French Polynesia. Its residents are citizens of France. So, they planned to have an Olympic event there. There is one other reason to hold an Olympic event in Teahupo’o. It is home to the best waves for surfing in the world.  

Teahupo’o, Tahiti is a very remote place to hold an event for the Paris Olympics.

Surfing is a new Olympic sport that involves athletes riding surfboards on ocean waves. Waves in Teahupo’o can reach up to 32 feet high. Whether the waves are tall or smaller, they have a perfect barrel shape for surfing. It is a natural place to hold the Olympic surfing competition. Teahupo’o is already a famous place amongst surfers. With the Olympics on its way, it is about to become more famous. This has some of the people who live there worried.  

Unlike many surf spots, Teahupo’o is not developed. There are not many hotels or restaurants in the village. In fact, the roads in the village are not paved. The people there have a strong connection to nature. They do not want the Olympics to disrupt that. Some of the construction for the Olympics has already disrupted the area’s wildlife. As a result, the Olympic committee has decided to do less construction. Many of the athletes and reporters covering the Olympics will not stay in Teahupo’o. Instead, they will live in a cruise ship anchored off the shore. They hope to disrupt life in Teahupo’o as little as possible. 

What Do You Think? Were you surprised that an event in the Paris Olympics is taking place so far from Paris? Do you think Olympic surfing should still be considered part of the Paris Olympics?  

Photo Credit: Julien Girardot/DPPI Media/Alamy Stock Photo