September 4, 2023

‘Job is not done’: Olynyk reflects on what it means to take Canada to the Olympics

Kelly Olynyk talks with Arash Madani about Canada’s journey to get them this far into the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Cup and qualifying for the Olympics in 2024.

Canada’s men’s basketball team is headed to the Olympics for the first time since 2000, joining five other nations who have earned a spot at the Paris Games so far.

Canada joins host France, Australia, Japan, South Sudan, and the U.S. with tickets to the 2024 Games in the French capital.

The Canadians earned that with an 88-85 come-from-behind win against Spain in Jakarta, Indonesia at the FIBA World Cup on Sunday. In doing so, Canada joined the U.S. as one of two automatic qualifiers from the Americas. Brazil, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic all failed to move on at the FIBA World Cup, which opened the door for Canada at the tournament, which is also serving as an Olympic qualifying event.

Two more automatic spots for European nations will be handed out at the tournament, which is now down to the quarterfinals. Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Germany, Italy, and Latvia are all still in contention for those.

The Olympic tournament will feature 12 teams, with the remaining four nations coming from four final qualifying tournaments yet to take place.

Those final qualifying tournaments will give 24 teams one last shot at the Games. Bahamas, Bahrain, Cameroon, Croatia, and Poland have spots in that event, with the remaining 19 invitations to be handed out at the World Cup. According to “The highest placed team for each region of Africa, Americas, and Asia/Oceania, after the eight teams directly qualified, will be awarded berths (to the qualifying tournaments), with the remaining spots filled by the next 16 highest-placed teams at the World Cup.”

The four qualifying-tournament winners will then earn a trip to Paris.

Canada finished seventh at the 2000 Sydney Games, losing to France in the quarterfinals. The last time the men won an Olympic medal was at the 1936 Berlin Games, when they fell 19-8 to the U.S. and settled for gold.