The organizers of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games initially planned to construct a large aluminum tower in Tahiti’s Teahupo’o for surfing events, but faced opposition from locals concerned about potential damage to coral reefs. Tahiti is a semi-autonomous region of France and has previously hosted surfing competitions with smaller, temporary wooden towers for judges. However, the proposed $5 million tower for the Olympics includes amenities like toilets, air conditioning, and space for 40 people, which raised environmental concerns.
Over 150,000 people signed an online petition opposing the plan. Moetai Brotherson, president of French Polynesia, suggested relocating the surfing events to Taharuu on Tahiti’s West coast to avoid the issues. Paris 2024 organizers expressed their commitment to finding a solution through dialogue and emphasized Tahiti’s selection due to the legendary Teahupo’o wave. They stated that discussions and studies will continue to ensure the events are organized in the best possible conditions, and they will work with environmental groups and local residents to improve the project. The surfing events at the 2024 Olympic Games will include men’s and women’s shortboard events with 48 surfers in total.
Source – CGTN