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2024 Olympics: Polynesian president questions Tahiti surfing event as controversy grows

“We will have to ask ourselves about the sustainability of Teahupoo surfing events. » Controversy over the surfing events of the 2024 Paris Games has not subsided. The President of French Polynesia comes to this. In a move to cast doubt on the sustainability of the events, Moetai Brotherson canceled a planned visit to Tahiti this Saturday for the 2024 Olympic surfing competition.

During technical tests on Friday filmed by environmental associations, the barge on which the new judge’s tower will be installed broke coral. Moetai Brotherson decided to cancel the tests scheduled in its presence on Saturday and suspend work that was due to start on Monday, ruling out the possibility of using the old wooden tower at the association’s request.

“Today we broke the corals, tomorrow if we use these old devices, these are lives that we will potentially endanger, I will not take this responsibility,” he said on local television channel TNTV. “If there is ultimately no solution because we can no longer reuse the old foundation (… and the old tower), we will have to ask ourselves about the sustainability of Teahupoo surfing events,” he said. added.

It is not possible to move the event to France.

According to him, the project manager is always looking for technical solutions. Having proposed this in November, the Polynesian president admitted to AFP that moving the competition to the new Tahiti wave was not possible “since Teahupu has been nominated.” He warned that moving the event into the French wave would cost “several billions of Pacific francs” (several million euros).

Tahiti’s director for the Paris 2024 Games, Barbara Martins-Nio, acknowledged the incident during technical testing on Friday. “The associations are right, the site is difficult to access, we would like to reach out to them by offering close technical cooperation to give them peace of mind,” she said.

“I am sure that a technical solution exists, the task today is to find a communication channel that suits everyone and takes into account the basic postulate, namely that a new tower and a new foundation is the only solution. If we fail to do this, then we will have to collectively ask ourselves what happens next,” she said. Vai ara o Teahupoo, the main association opposing the new aluminum referee tower, has decided to no longer appear in the media.

Source: Le Parisien

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