To minimize distractions and mitigate security concerns generated by the high profile of its star athletes, USA Basketball has been placing players outside the Olympic village since professional basketball players were first allowed to compete in the 1992 Barcelona Games. This year they are staying aboard a ship.
The luxury cruise ship Silver Cloud, part of the Silversea Cruises fleet, which can accommodate 296 people, will be anchored at Pier Maua, in Guanabara Bay, and it will be heavily guarded. There is only one gangway, the Daily Mail writes, with 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.
Jerry Colangelo, the director of U.S.A. Basketball, told the New York Times that keeping the basketball players in seclusion was a matter of security.“Our players are probably the most recognizable athletes in the world,” he said, explaining the “extra precaution” being taken.