As Vincent Collet explained during one of the videoconferences during the preparation in Pau, the staff of the France Team had chosen to arrive earlier in Japan to quietly adapt to local conditions, but also to avoid each other. the added dose of stress that a last minute arrival would inevitably have engendered.
Departing from Charles de Gaulle airport, in Paris, this Wednesday, July 14, in the company of the French women’s handball team in particular, the Blues experienced a real “odyssey” before arriving at their base in Oshino. All in all, the trip took 19 hours, explains Julien Guérineau on the Federation website, with some members of the French delegation who had to hang around for up to eight hours in the airport before being authorized to enter Japanese territory …
Rudy Gobert and Vincent Poirier were apparently the luckiest, coming out first in this “Interminable obstacle course with a series of filters to pass” before you can get the sesame out.
After 12 hours of flight, 5 hours of waiting at the airport and 2 hours in the bus, I was finally able to take a shower
— andrew albicy (@andrewalbicy) July 15, 2021
An Olympic experience “under the hood”
With a time difference of 7 hours compared to France, plus this very long trip and an equally tiring wait on arrival, the Blues slept little before finding themselves on the floor of Oshino for a slight scrub. They will stay there until July 22, the day before the official opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
The living conditions of the Blues in Japan will greatly resemble those of the NBA “bubble” last year in Orlando, but without Mickey this time. Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Vincent Poirier and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot may be able to advise their teammates to best manage this rather special atmosphere, with a saliva test every morning before breakfast and the formal ban on leaving the hotel, except to board the bus directly to go to training and matches.
Conditions that are not without consequences on mental health as proven Australian star Liz Cambage’s package, and until July 23, we must expect other defections because life in autarky, without possible outside exit and without fans during matches, is far from the traditional Olympic atmosphere.
This harsh welcome passed, the Blues will look to their next deadline: the friendly match against the host nation of these Olympics, Japan, this Sunday, July 18. A match which arrives very quickly, but which will still give important lessons on the blue collective after its two initial defeats against Spain …