“The decision has been made, a joint decision of Polynesia, Paris-2024 and the State,” Mr. Brotherson said late Thursday evening on the Tahitian channel TNTV. “This option is obviously not going to please everyone,” he added, refusing to give more details. “At some point you have to make a decision. That’s also being responsible.”
The legendary site of Teahupo'o, supposed to host in less than nine months the surfing events of the Olympic Games (July 26 - August 11), has for weeks been at the heart of tensions between the Polynesian government, the organizers of the Olympic Games and local residents. . Surfers and environmental activists oppose the plan to install a new aluminum judges' tower in the middle of the lagoon, which would risk degrading the seabed and harming the site's biodiversity.
Faced with the demonstrations, Polynesian President Moetai Brotherson took the organizers of the Olympics by surprise by telling AFP at the beginning of November that he was considering moving the events to a less renowned but easier to access site. This possibility was swept aside a few days later by the French Minister of Sports and the Olympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, who assured that Teahupo'o remained “the absolutely central option”. Mr. Brotherson indicated that a joint press release from Polynesia, Paris-2024 and the French State would be published later “to explain” the option that was chosen.