Hosting Olympic Events Remotely Will Impact 2024 Surfers
Of course, these athletes aren't your Olympic surfers. Tokyo 2020 (as will Paris 2024) featured shortboard paddle surfing (athletes paddling out to waves along the beachhead), while big wave surfers are towed-in on jet skis to the larger waves further out. Think of it as extreme skiing vs your alpine skiing Winter Olympics events.
In any case, watching these surfers tackle their passion - religiously, enthusiastically, competitively, despite injury and other setbacks - just emphasizes the appropriate inclusion of surfing as an Olympic sport. These are professional athletes in a global sport, performing year-round to hone their craft and receive recognition.
While Tahiti offers a perfect made-for-television surfing backdrop, and it's waves at Teahupo'O can be thrilling, I can't help but think the remoteness might detract from the athletes' sense of Olympism. How will those athletes and their families even feel a part of the Games so far from the Olympic Village, the other athletes, the other sports? Or, will it, for the athletes, feel like just another large tournament stop around the globe? Perhaps the usual rigid and limited qualification for the Games - and some Olympic bunting and procedure on site! - will help tilt the experience toward an Olympic feel.
Understood, the Games are massive, and finding venues for 30+ sports in one limited geographic location is tough. But, mostly, these decisions, have come after the Games were awarded to a specific host. I would have thought that the host city's ability to host all the planned events within a somewhat reasonable geography be a condition of hosting...otherwise, should it not be called Japan 2020 and France 2024, for example?
Regardless, to Tahiti will go Paris 2024's surfing Olympians. Luckily, Los Angeles 2028 and Brisbane 2032 should offer prime local venues for the sport..and more opportunities for surfers to be better, fully, integrated as Olympians.