One month after France’s shocking early exit from the Euro 2020 soccer tournament, the country is exuding pride over its surprise win, 83-76, against Team USA in the first basketball game of the group stage at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.
The French national team, led by Boston Celtics player Evan Fournier (who scored 28 points), beat the odds as Team USA hadn’t lost at the Olympics since 2004 and had won three consecutive Olympic gold medals. The French know the feeling of being a champion and getting taken down by a team with a worse track record, having recently lost against Switzerland on penalties during the Euro. However, Team USA will remain in the competition in spite of its loss; they will exit the tournament if they lose once more.
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French social media has been flooded with comments about the win, many of which point to the French team’s previous victory against the U.S. in the FIBA Basketball World Cup quarterfinals two years ago. Reports are calling it a “feat” and Fournier is being hailed a “hero.”
On Twitter, the Equipes de France de Basket, which is the equivalent to the NBA, wrote “So, it’s still luck as in 2019?”
Fournier also posted a story on Instagram with the definition of stoicism. The post reads, “stoicism: the art of not being controlled by your emotions and impulses.” The team will next play opposite Czech Republic on Wednesday.
The French female basketball team also won over Russia on Monday evening and is vying for the semi-finals.
U.S. users on Twitter expressed shock and awe over the loss, with some pointing out that the team was missing stars LeBron James and Stephen Curry.
Here is a sample of reactions in France:
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