“A team is a human adventure”

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“A team is a human adventure”

August 9, 2021

Photo: F. Coffrini | Getty

Media and team reactions following the first Olympic gold medal of the French women’s handball team


By J. Schuetz

The sputtering start of the French women’s handball team at the Tokyo Olympics ended on top of the medal podium.  A dream had become reality and the world of handball and beyond paid homage to the gold medal winners.

After the up and down performances of the team of head coach, Olivier Krumbholz, in the first week of the competition, France delivered top notch handball when it mattered most.

The “must-win” and last match against Brazil in the group phase, was followed up with a resounding 10-goal quarterfinal victory against the 2019 World champions from the Netherlands.

In the semifinals Coralie Lassource & Co. outlasted the surprise team of Sweden and against the squad labeled “ROC”  – the  2016 Olympic champions from Russia – “Le Bleus” secured gold for the very first time in the history of French women’s handball.

Only for a third time in Olympic history one nation won both handball tournaments, on the men’s as well women’s side, after the success of the Soviet Union (1976) and Yugoslavia (1984).

Here are some of the reactions after the final whistle at Yoyogi National arena:

Allison Pineau (left-back France):

“I can see how far we’ve come and the privilege of being there, with this group.”

Coralie Lassource (French Team Captain)

“We expected a very tough, very tough game, we knew that the Russians are very powerful .”

Pauline Coatanea (right-wing France)

“We had developed a battle plan and we kept it to the end. The work paid off.”

Olivier Krumbholz (Head coach France)

“A team is a human adventure – the most important thing is not the result, it is the route to get there. It is the richness of the relationships that we can have.”


Media Reactions


French Handball Handball Federation

Equipes de France de Handball (France)
— Equipes de France de Handball (@FRAHandball) August 8, 2021

Le Monde (France)

Liberation (France) 

Handnews (France) 


Le Figaro (France)



Le Republicain Lorraines (France)

President French Handball Federation

Ligue Butagaz Energie

Brest Bretagne Handball (French Champions 2021)


Allison Pineau (France)

International Handball Federation

Valerie Nicolas (French Goalkeeping Legend)

Mayor of Metz (Home of the French record champions)

Anne Hidalgo (Mayor of Paris)

European Handball Federation

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