Valériane Ayayi

Team Sanofi Athlete

At a glance




29 years old




Advocating for women’s rights and equal access to sport

About the Athlete

Valériane is a French professional basketball who has represented her country in over 125 times at international events and famously played pregnant during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. As an athlete, mother, and committed women’s rights advocate, Valériane’s powerful and meaningful story pushes the boundaries of sports to break the taboo around pregnancy and create an inclusive environment where women and girls are embraced in all aspects.
Valériane made her debut as a professional basketball player with the French national team as a teenager in 2013, winning a silver medal in the European Championships that same year. She currently plays for USK Praha, having previously played for the San Antonio Stars of the Women’s National Basketball Association. After giving birth to her daughter in late January 2022, Valériane was back on the basketball court only to win the final of the French Cup against Bourges in April 2022 with Mont de Marsan.

Since her return, Valériane has made her well-being a priority. Having chosen to breastfeed her daughter, her first separation for the Charleville-Mézières game required a lot of organization as she had to preemptively pump milk since her daughter couldn’t be with her during the match. After a conversation and support from the club, Valériane and her daughter could travel together, enabling her to balance motherhood and her career as a high-level athlete. Yet, Valériane does not intend to stop there as she wants the support of the French Basketball Federation next. She also regularly promotes access to sports for young girls through an association.

World Track Record

  • Part of the French national team’s Bronze medal run at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
  • Won Silver Medals at the European Championships in 2013, 2017, 2019, and 2021.
  • Winner of the French Cup and French Championships in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021.

Follow Valériane’s journey to Paris 2024

Meet the Team

Amandine Buchard

Judo, France