RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — It’s been a difficult few months for the Olympic women’s basketball teams from Turkey and France. Both countries have been victimized by deadly extremist attacks, and Turkey is struggling with the aftermath of a bloody attempted coup.
For players on both teams, being at the Summer Olympics in Rio offers a respite from what’s happening at home — and a chance to show the world a united front.
“In France, we started to lose faith in people,” French center Isabelle Yacoubou said. “I hope these Olympics will show people how we can come back together. We are all here together. It’s not like some French, because you’re black or white, are against other French people. We are all French and fighting for the country. I hope this little time, we will find some joy and try to forget these bad moments.”
The teams played each other in their Olympic tournament opener Saturday, which Yacoubou thought was special. France opened with a 55-39 victory over Turkey.