the new Polynesian president intends that the surfing event will take place in Tahiti

Teahupo'o, and its most powerful waves in the world, will host the surfing event of the Olympic Games in the summer of 2024.

On May 16, the new Polynesian government, appointed the day before, visited residents affected by a flood in Teahupo’o, where the surfing event of the Olympic Games in the summer of 2024 is planned, on one of the waves the most powerful in the world. On this occasion, the new Minister of Youth and Sports, Nahema Temarii declared that she was considering the possibility of “revoke this commitment”. Housing and Solidarity Minister Minarii Galenon added: “We can very well cancel these Olympic Games, but we will have very large sums to pay”.

From Friday, May 19, the new president, Moetai Brotherson, however, made it clear that “the option of not taking part in the Games is very restrictive and I don’t think it’s the one we’ll choose, it’s not the spirit that drives me”. “I absolutely want these Games to take place here because this is where surfing was born, not elsewhere, he added, in front of the press, in Papeete.

“There are discussions to be had with the State on the agreement which was ped by the previous government, there is a collective budget which is approaching, where we will have to materialize the commitments. This will be part of the discussions we will have with the State, but the goal is for the Games to take place here”, he erted. Elected president on May 12, this separatist has often opposed his separatist predecessor, but not on the organization of the Games.

For Barbara Martins-Nio, head of the Tahiti site for the Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Cojop), the declarations of the Minister of Sports constituted above all “a political positioning: you had to mark your territory and that was done in a somewhat brutal way”.

“I recalled the agreements already signed: the State, Paris-2024 and the Country [la Polynésie française, N.D.L.R. ] have commitments. The country can reduce the sail, by modifying the responsibilities within the commitments already made: there are possible evolutions compared to those of the former government”, said Friday, Mrs. Martins-Nio. But a withdrawal of the candidacy does not seem to him to be possible.

The floods, followed by rare phenomena, make the population doubt

For some residents of Teahupo’o, the construction of the new bridge planned for the Olympic Games contributed to the floods which, at the beginning of May, devastated about fifty houses and swept a dozen cars into the sea. “The water level was high but the palisades compounded the problem by diverting flood water, which caused a torrent in front of our houses,” deplores Kiki Plantier, a 65-year-old retiree who lost all her household appliances in the flood.

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