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Team USA’s basketball players pass up Olympic Village for luxury cruise ship

  • DeMarcus Cousins, center right, and Carmelo Anthony, of the United States men's basketball team, board the Silver Cloud cruise ship upon arriving for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. The men's and women's team will be staying on the ship in the Port of Rio for the duration of the Olympics. (AP Photo/David Goldman) David Goldman



Washington Post
Thursday, August 04, 2016

When it comes to the athletes competing in Rio, some live better than others.

Take, for instance, the U.S. men and women who will compete for gold medals in basketball. While others deal with incomplete or shoddy construction in some places in the Olympic Village, the American hoopsters will be living the good life aboard the Silver Cloud, one of the ships in the Silversea luxury cruise line. Players arrived Wednesday and were greeted by gloved porters to carry their possessions onboard.

“Spacious yet intimate, designed to cross oceans and yet able to slip up rivers and into hidden harbours with ease, the yacht-like Silver Cloud carries just 296 guests in incomparable comfort and style,” the Silversea website says.

No need to give the toilets a stress test here (we presume) or to ask fellow NBA-er Andrew Bogut for shower-curtain tips. Bogut, who plays for Australia, recently tweeted a picture of himself assembling a shower curtain with the caption, “#IOCLuxuryLodging. Putting together a shower curtain so we can shower and not flood the place.”

The ship will be anchored at Pier Maua, which lies in the extremely polluted Guanabara Bay, and it will be heavily guarded. There is only one entrance, the Daily Mail writes, through an airport-type scanner manned by security, and the ship is surrounded by a bulletproof-glass fence. Police boats, with marksmen aboard, will patrol the water around the ship.

The boat has beds that will accommodate 7-footers, a spa, multiple dining areas, a bar, a cigar lounge and an open-air pool. A weeklong cruise typically costs about $13,000.

“We don’t stay in the village because we don’t feel it’s the best way to prepare for competition,” USA Basketball spokesman Craig Miller told the Associated Press in February. “The players have a long professional season, and they want to spend as much time as possible with family and friends.”

In fact, the teams haven’t stayed in the Olympic Village since 1988. It all sounds like a pretty terrific way for the team to focus on the matter at hand – winning gold. But, a warning: The U.S. men stayed aboard the Queen Mary 2 in Athens in 2004, and it proved to be a cruise to nowhere when the squad lost to Argentina and returned home with bronze.