The conventions for the organization of the surfing events have been signed in Papara.
The best surfers in the world will compete for Olympic gold on “the jaw of Hava’e”: the conventions for the organization of the surfing events on the formidable wave of Teahupoo in Tahiti were signed Tuesday in Papara, between Polynesia and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Organizing Committee.
“We will make it an event that meets your expectations.“, promised Edouard Fritch, President of French Polynesia, during the signing of the three documents at 12 p.m. local time, with Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024 and representatives of the State.
The first agreement relates to the installation of infrastructures on the site of Teahupoo, the second is centered on the safety shutter of the event while the last relates to the passage of the Olympic flame in French Polynesia, noted on the spot a AFP correspondent.
Symbolically, these agreements were signed at the headquarters of the Tahitian surfing federation in Papara, on the southwest coast of Tahiti, where a fan zone facing the ocean will be set up during the Olympic events.
– Developments to be planned –
This signature confirms the choice of Teahupoo as the site of the next Olympic surfing events, despite the concerns of part of the local population who fear that the places will be denatured by the facilities necessary to host the competition.
“Since Friday, we have met all the actors on the site“, assured Tony Estanguet during a press conference after the signatures. “This is a file that is progressing well (…) Adjustments are necessary but most will be temporary so as not to distort the sites“, he said.
“We are a small island lost in the Pacific which is going to host the Olympic Games. It’s extraordinary (…) We had to convince the population but that’s it, we’re going to do it. All eyes will be on us“, welcomed Edouard Fritch during the same press conference.
And more precisely towards thehava’e jaw“, name given by the Polynesians to the Teahupoo wave, which has fascinated as much as it has frightened surfers around the world for decades.
– “A legendary wave–
“Surfing this wave means taking risks, because it digs into the reef and the risk of touching it is high“, explained in July to AFP Kauli Vaast, one of the best Tahitian hopes, who intends to qualify for the Games.
Considered one of the most photogenic waves in the world, it offers surfers large, almost translucent tubes, like tunnels of turquoise water, essential on the professional circuit.
“Teahupoo is coaxing. It’s only hits when it works well (..) It’s a spot that can be dangerous, scary and contains thousands of different stories“, confided to AFP at the beginning of August Johanne Defay, current 2nd in the world on the professional circuit.
After a remarkable debut in Tokyo in 2020, Olympic surfing could enter Teahupoo in another dimension: “The athlete who will be Olympic champion here will be on a mythical wave», Rejoiced Tony Estanguet on Tuesday.
The delegation of the Organizing Committee for the Paris 2024 Olympics stayed for six days in Polynesia to tour the future facilities (accommodation for athletes, fan zones, etc.).
She must fly back to Paris on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, after attending a day of competition in the Outerknown Tahiti Pro (August 11-21), the last stop on the professional surfing circuit before the world finals in California in september.
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