NBA star Rudy Gobert is prepared to go all-in for a gold medal on home soil at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Gobert has been to two Olympics, winning silver at the delayed Tokyo Games last year but has always had Paris in his mind when the French capital was announced to host the Games in 2017.
France have never won basketball gold at the Olympics, finishing as runners-up in 1948, 2000 and 2021.
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“When Paris was officially announced as the host city for the Olympic Games, I remember thinking: ‘I’ll be there’,” said Gobert on the latest episode of The Power of Sport.
“That was already a few years ago now. It seemed so far away at the time, but I thought: ‘we’ll be there and we’ll compete for the gold medal’.
“I’m proud of what the squad was able to achieve [in Tokyo]. I’m happy with what we experienced together. Even though we obviously wanted to win gold, we really relished that silver medal. For me, it’s always a kind of springboard for what’s to come.
“We’ve reached a stage where it’s gold or nothing. I have a lot of silver and bronze medals; I don’t have any golds, so that’s my aim.”
Although Gobert spends most of his time in the United States in the NBA, where he has recently left Utah Jazz for the Minnesota Timerwolves, he enjoys coming back to France.
“It’s a source of pride. That’s where I grew up, and where I’m from,” said Gobert. “Coming back to the French national team, playing alongside my friends in Les Bleus’ jersey is the definition of sport.
“I was involved in the preparation with the French team in [London] 2012, but I was also set to take part in the Under-20 European Championship. So, I actually knew I wouldn’t feature in those Olympic Games.
“A little bit of me was still hopeful, but I knew it would come round later. However, being able to train alongside all those stars, for me, a young Rudy Gobert – I think I was 19 at the time – was a great experience.
“I think every athlete wants to compete in the Olympics at least once.”

Rudy Gobert #27 of Team France high-fives teammate Thomas Heurtel #4 during the second half of their Men's Basketball Quarterfinal game against Team Italy on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 03, 2021 in Saitama,

Image credit: Getty Images

Gobert believes basketball is a growing sport in France and hopes the people will get behind the national team when Paris 2024 arrives to leave a legacy following the Games.
“You can see that people, young people in particular, generally love basketball in France,” he added.
“But they don’t have the opportunity to watch enough of it, or at least to watch high-level basketball. So, these international competitions are not only about us, but also about promoting basketball to young people and everyone who wants to watch our sport.”
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The latest episode of The Power of Sport is available to watch on Eurosport, discovery+ and Eurosport’s digital platforms.
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