Even if Tahiti didn't send any athlete to Palau for the South Pacific Mini-Games, the island sent three person included the country's Olympic and sporting committee president. He's there to explain why Tahiti is missing the Games and to back New Caledonia's bid to host the 2011 Games.
Louis Provost is in Koror for three days now after a very long trip from Tahiti via Auckland, Sydney, Cairns and Guam.
"Tahiti's withdrawal from the Mini-Games caused a lot of talking" acknowledged Provost "French Polynesia had to deal with some political issues in the last monthes and the sporting world has been disturbed because of that. Last year the sporting federations only received money from the french government but not from the tahitian one. So we were unable to come to the Mini-Games because we simply didn't have to money."
"We are not here to justify ourselves, we are here to look forward and to prepare the future. Even with our small delegation, we will back New Caledonia's bid to host the 2011 Games" he added.
In 2001, Tahiti's support to New Caledonia's bid to host the 2007 Games wasn't very strong and the Games were awarded to Apia, Samoa. This time, Louis Provost said that "Caledonia can count on a full support from Tahiti".
The South Pacific Games council will be held on July 31, New Caledonia but also American Samoa and the Solomon Islands want to host the 2011 Games. For information, the 2007 Games will be held in Samoa while the 2009 Mini-Games will be held in the Cook Islands.