"I get up for it, I eat for it, I train and I work for it!"
So I'm not saying that I dedicated my life to them, but frankly, we're not far from it!
Ana Maria Filip, 32, can't contain a burst of laughter when she talks about basketball and the Olympics.
After being satisfied with the preparation for the London Olympics in 2012 and Rio in 2016 with the French women's basketball team at 5, the pivot of Montpellier (1.94 m) is finally playing the Olympics, this summer in Tokyo.
A great first for her, as for her discipline, 3x3 basketball, which the captain of the Bleues summed up for us in a “very first time” interview!
What first words come to mind when you talk about the Games?
ANA MARIA FILIP
The Games are the ultimate competition!
We have all participated in European and World Championships, we all play at the highest level in a club, but the Games are the Holy Grail, the competition that everyone dreams of.
Because you have to take a path of the cross to qualify, but also because for us, who practice 3x3 basketball, this is the very first time that we have been there.
What exactly does this first participation represent for your discipline?
It is first of all a great pride!
Our slogan is “From the street to the Olympics”
It reminds us that the reduced game is not just limited to football, it is also practiced in basketball.
It is a great recognition for the discipline and for those who have fun on the playgrounds or around the corner.
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You are captain of the France team.
How did you experience your first time in this role?
I felt old
The girls were all younger than me and they said to me: "Ana, you're the oldest, you're kind of our mom, it makes sense that it's you!"
There was recognition and trust on their part, but it really made me feel weird.
Sometimes this status forces me to play the role of the bad guy a bit, when we're not good at a match.
But it also forces me to go towards others.
I learn a lot from girls, we have a lot of great discussions.
What will be your first words as a captain before entering the competition?
This is it girls, here we are!
We have no fears, no fears to have.
Pressure and stress have no reason to exist.
We fought for that, to be there.
Now is the time to go into battle and win the war.
Who is the first star you would like to meet in the Olympic Village?
Oh there, you catch me off guard… An American basketball player, of course!
I will try not to abuse this kind of thing, well, if I can take a picture… But we must not be scattered either.
We are there for the competition, even if there will be times for rest and entertainment.
NO MORE JOKE!
🥵🇫🇷 #Olympics 📅 Meet
on Saturday at 10:55 am (French time) VS 🇺🇸
🖥 Live broadcast for free on @francetvsport: https://t.co/MR3LS5DP9s#3x3 # Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/11fptUcgrm
- 3x3 FFBB (@ 3x3Ffbb) July 22, 2021
It will be the first Olympic Games in history in Covid mode.
Does this worry you?
If I tell girls that we should not have fears or anxieties, it is not so that we get stressed with the Covid!
We will live with it.
We know the barrier gestures, the fact that you have to use gel, wear masks… There will certainly be a special character, but the world population has been living in this context for over a year.
We all integrated it well, unfortunately.
Why can you be the first to bring home Olympic gold in 3x3?
Because we are very diligent in our work! But don't count on me to sell the bear skin until I kill it. Me, I like that we work step by step. We must not see ourselves too beautiful. What we have done so far is good. But it's only the present that counts. The other nations will try to beat us up, let's never forget that they have the same desire as us!