Forget the Olympic Village. The U.S. men’s and women’s Olympic Basketball teams are staying on a cruise ship. And not just any cruise ship, the luxury Silversea ship, the Silver Cloud.
Typically, athletes stay in the Olympic Village. It was built to house close to 18,000 athletes and staff. The 31 buildings include a total of 3,604 apartments and a number of communal structures. As of July 25th, only 12 of the 31 buildings had passed safety inspections.
When asked about their luxurious accommodations, our U.S. teams claim that it’s their fame that keeps them from bunking with the other athletes. With marquee names like Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Diana Taurasi, they draw a lot of attention. If they were to stay in the Olympic Village, they might not be able to relax before the big games.
While this makes sense, we suspect that there’s more to this story.
Since athletes first started moving into the Olympic Village, the issues started piling up. From plumbing to electrical hazards, the place seems to need a lot of TLC. There have been reports of blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, dirty floors, darkened stairwells, and more.
Strangely, there were even reports of sabotage to the complex by the organization of the Olympic Games.
We’ve decided to take a closer look as to why the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams have chosen the Silver Cloud cruise ship over the Olympic Village.
Oops, Brazil lost the keys to the Olympic Village
We can imagine the conversation went something like… “Hey, Hugo – can you open the Olympic Village to let the athletes in?” “Umm… I thought you had the keys, Miguel.”
While it pales in comparison to some of the other Olympic horror stories, it did set the theme for life at the Village.
When it came time to open the gates for the Women’s Soccer Teams, officials had actually misplaced the keys. Surrounding the perimeter was a gate with pad-lock.. To let the athletes in, officials actually had to chop off the lock with bolt-cutters.
Fortunately, someone caught the embarrassing incident on camera.
In comparison, below you can see the security entourage that surrounds the Silver Cloud cruise ship housing the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams.
It’s said that 300 officers surround the vessel.
On the right, you can see Kevin Durant boarding the ship with much more ease than those trying to scale the fences at the Olympic Village.
Olympic Village Fire
On Friday, before the Olympics had officially started, the fire alarm sounded in the Australian’s section of the Village. A car fire in the basement evacuated approximately 100 athletes.
What’s worse than having to file into the streets during a fire alarm? Having your stuff stolen while you’re out there. Yup, the teams had some electronics and clothing stolen while they waited to return to their accommodations.
At least their fire alarms worked, though. It was reported that some teams, which should have been evacuated, hadn’t been because their alarms were broken or non-existent.
On the Silversea Silver Cloud, the teams definitely do not have to worry about car fires disrupting their day.
And, if a fire does happen to break out, the teams can immediately report to their Muster Station, located in the Main Theater.
We’d heard there was plumbing issues in the Olympic Village. But, here you can see that’s an understatement. Before worrying about how well the pipes are working, you must first install the pipes.
Hopefully there’s at least a drain on the floor to catch the toothpaste and mustache trimmings.
We’ve all been taught that water and electricity don’t mix. What happens when your electrical fixtures are dripping water?
Sportsfile Staffer Steve McCarthy tweeted this image a few days before the events started. It’s of the reception area of one of the Olympic Village living complexes.
In comparison, here’s the reception area of the Silver Cloud cruise ship.
It’s the Little Things…
Shower curtains, for instance. For some reason, the Olympic Village planning committee didn’t think that shower curtains were necessary.
While professional athletes probably aren’t as worried about the privacy, it’s water that’s the issue.
Dallas Mavericks center (who’s playing for Team Australia) Andrew Bogut tweeted, “Putting together a shower curtain so we can shower and not flood the place.” Pic seen on the right.
It seems he wasn’t the only one left curtain-less. On the right, the Chinese team is also fitting a curtain for their bathroom.
While Bogut is building his own bathroom and sleeping on children’s cots, his U.S. counterparts have the following bathroom amenities to hold them over.
Not Basketball Friendly
The bedrooms within the Olympic Village look better suited for a pre-teen summer camp than for our World’s greatest athletes.
Other than the gymnasts, we’re not sure what other athletes could comfortably sleep in the provided cots seen below.
Andrew Bogut (mentioned above) had a little fun with the sub-par accommodations, adding the following regarding the IOC (International Olympic Committee). “At #IOCLuxuryLodging we believe a bed is not vital for sleep. Fine-tuned athletes can sleep standing up.”
Just imagine 6’11 DeMarcus Cousins trying to lay on one of these.
Fortunately, he doesn’t have to. Nor does the rest of the Men’s or Women’s U.S. Olympic Basketball Teams.
Their living quarters look like the following.
Gold Medal… but first, Coffee
This might be the most egregious Olympic Committee oversight. It’s been reported that there’s no coffee to be found throughout the Olympic Village.
The event is sponsored by Coca-Cola and the company currently does not have a coffee brand.
Perhaps they think that athletes will replace their morning coffee with a Coke?
Meanwhile, on Silver Cloud… this is directly from Silversea’s web site.
“Good coffee lies close to the hearts of most Italians, which is why we serve freshly ground illy coffee on every one of our ships. Our baristas are fully trained on making the perfect coffee and can whip up everything from a classic cappuccino to a venti caramel macchiato. Wherever you are on the ship, whatever time of day, delicious Italian coffee is only a few minutes away.”
Jamaican me Wanna Play Basketball
The Jamaican team showed up to their room in shambles. Below shows a few snapshots of the condition of their Olympic Village room.
We’re not sure if the construction crew got the wrong dates?
Meanwhile, back at the Silver Cloud…
Last year when inspected by the CDC, the ship received a 99 out of a total possible 100 points.
If you’re wondering what the Silver Cloud typically costs per sailing, check out the pricing widget below.
We think that the U.S. Olympic Basketball teams made the smart move here. When / if they win the gold, we think that the captain of the Silver Cloud should get a nod.
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