Smooth Sailing: USA Basketball Ditches Olympic Village for Luxury Cruise Ship
*Photo via Sportsrageous.com
The USA men’s and women’s basketball teams decided to forgo the abysmal housing accommodations in the Olympic Village, opting to stay instead aboard a lavish 196-cabin cruise ship docked at Pier Maua in Rio de Janeiro. According to the New York Daily News the players will call The Silver Cloud home during the course of the games in Brazil in what most around the world expect to result in two gold medals. Complete with a spa, several dining areas, a bar, cigar lounge and open air pool the players will reside in the lap of luxury surrounded by a bullet proof fence and 250 federal police officers. “We don’t stay in the village because we don’t feel it’s the best way to prepare for the competition,” Craig Miller, a spokesman for USA Basketball said, adding that the men’s team hasn’t stayed in the village since 1992.The Associated Press reported that the NBA has also set up a “hospitality tent” in the port area for their athletes and staff.
It’s no wonder the NBA commissioned two vessels to house their athletes and their staff during the 2016 Summer Olympics. Brazil has barely scraped together the resources to host the games much less adequately house athletes from around the world. Even the Australian athletes refused to live squalor in the Olympic Village; NBA star Andrew Bogut aired his grievances on the pathetic condition of rooms in the Olympic Village on Twitter, “#IOCLuxuryLodging Putting together a shower curtain so we can shower and not flood the place,” Bogut tweeted Monday.
So far accommodations at the Olympic Village in Rio have been nothing short of horrific. According to the Daily Mail, officials have called the village unlivable, with ESPN staff reporting that crime in the athlete’s Olympic Village is already a problem; according to reports some athletes were evacuated from their rooms after a fire started in an underground car park and upon returning to their rooms many found that their team shirts and electronics had been stolen during the evacuation.
Call me a pessimist but I never supported the Olympic games being hosted by Brazil. The country is an economic dark hole that’s fraught with widespread poverty, crime and violence, add the mosquito borne Zika virus to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. Not the type of environment I’d envision sending thousands of athletes and officials to for the first Olympic games hosted in South America. The XXXI Olympiad will go down in history as the most problematic major international multi-sport event in history, not something you’d want to be known for.