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LONDON (Olympics) - "All for one and one for all" might as well be the rallying cry for the French these days.
At the London Games, the country's basketball teams have been visibly supportive of each other at games.
The men show up to watch the women - even when it's the dreaded 9am start as was the case on Wednesday.
Instead of an extra two hours in bed, the men awoke and cheered on their compatriots.
"It was wonderful," said France's Emilie Gomis, who high-fived the men with her teammates as they walked off the court following their 64-60 triumph over Canada.
"We weren't expecting them to be here at all today.
"Honestly we are not two teams, we are one team.
"It's the first time we are sharing moments like these.
"We want to savor it a 100%.
"It's something very rare, our leagues are separate and with each on their own side."
One of the centers on the French men's team is Ronny Turiaf, who hails from the Eastern Caribbean island of Martinique - an overseas region of France.
Turiaf and Tony Parker have not just been to watch the women play in London, but other French athletes.
On Monday, they watched French swimmers.
"We just stick with each other because want everybody to succeed,” Turiaf said.
"We know many of them. We went to high school together (in France), Sandrine Gruda - she's from my island. We all know each other since we were like 14 years old.
"It's a pretty cool thing."
All the French athletes see each other in the Olympic Village.
The French basketball teams live in the same building, with the women one floor higher.
"We go all the together to the Club France,” said France center Emmeline Ndongue.
"Some of the girls were with them in (French sports academy) INSEP.
"But even with the other sports (in the Village), we're friends.”
There is a lot of encouragement being offered from all French athletes, Ndongue says.
"We were walking to the bus and everyone was like, 'Okay, have a good game' and I was like 'Thank you, thank you' (laughs),” Ndongue said.
"Some of these people are gold medalists, and they say, 'We're going to be watching you.' And I'm like, 'You're going to be watching me, for real? We know that when we go back to the Village, they'll be proud of us. It's a big feeling."
Gomis has enjoyed the camaraderie so much that she's hopeful the French Basketball Federation has taken notice.
The 28-year-old said: "We don't have the chance to do training camps like this together during the summer, although it's possible; a message maybe to our federation.
"We are getting to know them, which is very enjoyable and having support like theirs it does us a lot of good.
"It's honestly an extra motivation."
Solidarity is not exclusive to the French.
Australia big man Matt Nielsen, who is playing in his third Olympics, said: “Our Australian Olympic team is always close together and I think we've always had a close bond.
“It is good having the support and you try to support the other teams. That part is great and it's what is really special about the Australians at the Olympics.”
Belinda Snell, who hit the most amazing shot of the Olympics so far for the Opals, a game-tying shot from beyond half-court that forced overtime against France, said: “If we cross paths with them, they’re very encouraging. We’re very supportive of each other.
“It’s a fun atmosphere, but obviously we’re here to focus on basketball. They focus, we focus, but it’s a fun atmosphere.
“It definitely helps when they come out and support us.”
Russia’s men have come out to watch the women play, too.
Evgeniya Belyakova, the sharpshooter in the women’s team, said: “This is very important to support each other, but if they can’t come to the game, it’s no big deal.
“Every bit of support helps. And I love men’s basketball, so I like to go and watch them play. I loved watching them play against Great Britain and they played so well, too. That makes our spirits much better.”
The USA men and women are not staying in the Olympic Village yet are in the same hotel and at past Olympics have watched each other’s games.FIBA
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