Olympic dreams inspiring French duo at Hague 4-Star

The Hague, Netherlands, January 5, 2018 – Maxime Thiercy and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat might be taking their first steps together on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, but at the back of their minds is the chance to play at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

The French pair are currently competing at the Dela Beach Open that is taking place in the indoor arena at Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hauge capital. It is their third World Tour tournament together, following quarterfinal finishes at the Sydney 2-Star and Aalsmeer 1-Star in 2017.

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FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - DELA Beach Open

The 23-year-old Thiercy has been competing on the World Tour since he 2015, a year after he and Romain Di Giantommaso won bronze at the 2014 FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships. 

Gauthier-Rat is two years his junior, and happy to be building up his experience on the World Tour. 

While there are no guarantees that they will play at Paris 2024, the fact that they are beach volleyball players means that people aren’t slow to bring up the topic of a home Olympics with them. 

“When we say we’re beach volleyball players, people often ask if we’re going to make it to the Olympics and be in Paris, and we answer that we hope we will,” Gauthier-Rat said. 

“We’ve only just started playing together and it is our third or fourth tournament together and my first 4-Star. I was nervous about it, but we’re happy to be here.”

At Paris 2024 beach volleyball is due to take place in a spectacular setting next to the Eiffel Tower, and with the countdown already underway the French Volleyball Federation have begun to start their build up towards the event.

Away from the Tour the pair are based at the Federation’s training centre in Toulouse, where they come under the guidance of Brazilian coach Lisandro. He has been brought in to use his experience from the London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games to help the French team towards places on the Olympic podium. 

“It is just starting and the Federation is making some structural changes,” Thiercy said. “They’ve brought in a very good trainer, the Brazilian Lisandro. It is a good beginning. 

“We will see what comes next, hopefully some more tournament and hopefully more young players will come through to play with us.”

For more information on the tournament, click here


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