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Paris 2024 Olympic Games: the international surfing federation “welcomes” the suspension of work at Teahupo’o

The International Surfing Federation (ISA) welcomed this Wednesday the Polynesian government’s decision to suspend work on the Teahupo’o 2024 Olympics site, after damage inflicted on corals during technical tests on Friday.

While “the Polynesian government has decided to pause all future tests,” “the ISA welcomes this decision and invites intensified discussions to examine all possible options,” the institution said in a statement.

The body said it was “saddened and surprised” that a barge intended for the installation of the new tower broke coral during these technical tests on Friday, filmed by environmental defense associations.

“Since the beginning of the process of organizing the Olympic surfing events in French Polynesia, the ISA has always insisted that the protection of the natural site of Teahupo’o was a priority,” she added.

Responsible for organizing the Olympic event, the ISA stressed that “facilities and infrastructure were the responsibility of the Paris-2024 organizing committee, in coordination with the Polynesian government”.

In view of the Olympic Games, the authorities plan to install a new wooden tower on the Teahupo’o site, the one usually used by judges during surfing competitions having “no longer been up to standard for ten years” , according to the organizing committee.

But this project generates strong local opposition, with several associations, environmentalists and village residents believing that the work is likely to damage the seabed.

On social media, many international surfers, including surfing legend and multiple world champion Kelly Slater, have recently lent their support to opponents of the new tower.

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