The men and women’s U.S. basketball teams have snubbed the Olympic Village and are instead staying in a luxury mega-yacht during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Traditionally, athletes from all over the world who are competing in the Olympics stay together in the official Olympic village.
It is believed that having all the athletes stay together in the village promotes global unity and the Olympic spirit. However, amid concerns about Zika, political unrest, protests and reports of sub-standard living conditions in Rio’s Olympic village, basketball’s Team USA has instead opted to stay in a luxury mega-yacht for the duration of the Olympic games.
The decision may be seen as a slap in the face to the athletes of other nations who are unable to afford such luxury accommodations.
According to the New York Post, the Silversea Silver Cloud has 196 cabins, nine decks, a pool, cigar lounge, spa and shopping. Celebrity athletes such as Kevin Durrant and Kyrie Irving will be able to enjoy 7-foot beds, air-conditioning and hot tubs during this year’s games. The luxury accommodations will ensure that the players are able to relax in style, but won’t go far in the way of endearing them to the other athletes.
In contrast, athletes and journalists alike are criticizing the sub-standard conditions in the Olympic village. According to a statement released by the Australian team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller, the village has problems such as blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed electrical wires and strong gas smells.
Australian basketball team member Andrew Bogut tweeted a picture of himself holding a shower curtain with the caption “putting together a shower curtain so we can shower and not flood the place.” With such unsuitable accommodations, are athletes who are forced to stay in the village at an unfair advantage in the competition?
The dire living situation inside the Olympic village is sure to anger the athletes forced to stay there. But will the U.S. basketball men and women teams’ decision to ride the games out in style aboard a luxury liner damage their relationship with teams from other countries? Perhaps the best way to promote international goodwill would be to invite the other athletes from the village over for a fabulous P. Diddy style yacht party.
What do you think of the basketball team’s decision to stay on such a lavish yacht: necessary or in poor taste? Are athletes who stay in the village at a disadvantage in the upcoming competition? Tell us what you think below!