By Le Figaro with AFP
Doubting the “sustainability” of the surfing event at the Paris Games, Moetai Brotherson canceled his planned visit to Teahupoo, in Tahiti, on Saturday.
French Polynesia President Moetai Brotherson canceled his planned visit to Teahupoo on Saturday, where the 2024 Olympic surfing competition should take placeafter having once again questioned the “sustainability» of this ordeal.
During technical tests on Friday, filmed by environmental defense ociations, the barge planned for the installation of the new judges’ tower broke coral.
Today, we broke coral, tomorrow, if we use these old devices, we are potentially putting lives in danger, I will not take this responsibility.
Moetai Brotherson, president of French Polynesia
Mr. Brotherson decided to cancel the tests scheduled in his presence on Saturday and to suspend the work which was to begin on Monday, excluding using the old wooden tower as the ociations wish.
“Today, we broke coral, tomorrow, if we use these old devices, we are potentially putting lives in danger, I will not take this responsibility“, he declared on the local television channel TNTV.
“If in the end there is no solution, since we will no longer be able to reuse the old foundations (…nor) the old tower, we will have to ask ourselves the question of the sustainability of the surfing events at Teahupoo“, he added.
The Tower of Discord
The project manager is always looking for technical solutions, according to him.
After proposing it in November, Mr. Brotherson admitted to AFP that moving the competition to another Tahitian wave was not possible “since it was Teahupoo’s application which was submitted“.
Moving the event to a French wave would amount to “several billion Pacific francs» (several million euros), he warned.
The director of the Tahiti site for Paris-2024, Barbara Martins-Nio, acknowledged the incident during Friday’s technical test. “The ociations are right, accessibility to the site is complex, we would like to reach out to them by suggesting close technical collaboration in order to find peace of mind“, she told AFP.
“I am confident that a technical solution exists, the challenge today is to find a communication channel that suits everyone and that takes into account the basic postulate, namely that a new tower and new foundations are the only solution. If we don’t succeed, then we will have to collectively ask ourselves the question of what’s next.“, she expressed.
Vai ara o Teahupoo, the main ociation opposed to the new aluminum judges’ tower, has chosen to no longer speak in the media.
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