PARIS : Paris 2024 organisers insisted the surfing events at next year’s Olympics would be held on the Tahiti site of Teahupo’o despite recent opposition from the International Surfing Association (ISA) on the building of an aluminium judging tower.
In October, residents of Teahupo’o protested against plans by Games organisers to build a 14-metre aluminium tower that would allow up to 40 people to watch, film and judge the surfing at a famous break in front of the village.
Paris 2024 and the French Polynesia government said last month they had decided that building a smaller, lighter tower on the Tahiti site was the best choice. This would allow for smaller installation tools but would still require new foundations in the reef.
On Tuesday, the ISA said it would not support the building of the aluminium tower, suggesting the events could be judged from the shore.
“This is an option that had been looked into but it had been discarded because it would mean the events being judged from a 900-metre distance,” Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet said on Wednesday.
“We can’t broadcast like this in good weather and in terms of sporting fairness, it would be a problem. Events have always been viewed from a tower.
“Tahiti asked to host the surfing events and we will continue to work with all stakeholders to make it happen.”