PAPEETE, French Polynesia - August 16, 2022 - (Newswire.com)
Future site of the surfing competition for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the village of Teahupo'o, on the island of Tahiti, opened its annual surf competition Outerknown Tahiti Pro (Aug. 11-21) with cultural ceremonies and dance, remarks from several dignitaries, and representatives of the local and international surf communities.
Occurring in just two short years, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games provide a global spotlight on the most iconic swell in the Polynesian islands and one of the most famous in the world, the wave at Teahupo'o, legendarily one of "the deadliest waves in the world." At the competition, local surfers will challenge global competitors in their home surf, in the Polynesian islands where the sport was invented. The event will be a cultural milestone for the people of French Polynesia, also known as The Islands of Tahiti.
The swelling of national pride was present at the opening day's event as government Minister of Youth and Sports Naea Bennett took the stage.
"We are proud to welcome the world elite of surfing — these 36 athletes including 12 women who will give us, without a doubt, an extraordinary spectacle during this competition. We are proud to have among the world surfing elite children of Fenua (our country)," declared Bennett. "Surfing, this Polynesian sport, is recognized worldwide and has been included in the program of the 2024 Olympic Games."
World Junior Championship winner and Tahitian local Vahine Fierro, 22, was in attendance alongside veteran Tahitian surfing icons Michel Bourez and Kauli Vaast, named as the "children of Fenua" noted in the speech.
Teahupo'o, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games site, will soon welcome the arrival of Tony Estanguet, President of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (OCOG) of 2024.
The wave at Teahupo'o will be the 10th and last stage of the World Tour within the framework of the professional world championships organized by the World Surf League (WSL). Indeed, this legendary wave (sometimes surging as high as 50 feet) inspires awe and fear in even the most elite surfers with its unparalleled power and menacing reef break.
"We are proud to have been chosen by the Organizing Committee of the 2024 Olympic Games to host the surfing events," Bennett also remarked.
Surfing, due to the wonder it inspires, has become an important economic activity in The Islands of Tahiti through retail sales of products but also the many surf schools run by educators in the discipline. It is also an important cultural export, providing a sense of pride and showcasing the athleticism and symbiosis with nature that is embodied by the Polynesian people.
"Long live surfing, long live sport and long live French Polynesia," concluded Bennett.
Press Release Service by Newswire.com
Original Source: Annual Outerknown Tahiti Pro Opening Ceremony Signals What's to Come for Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the Islands of Tahiti