The U.S. National Basketball league stars who will play at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will not be housed in the Olympic Village, like other athletes, but rather on board a luxury transatlantic cruise ship that docked on the weekend at the city's port.
The Silver Cloud has capacity to host up to 400 people in its 196 cabins, which have already been placed at the disposal of athletes from the U.S. men's and women's Olympic basketball teams, the general directorate of the Maua port terminal said.
The U.S. delegation exclusively reserved all the cabins on board the vessel for the Olympics, and the ship, with all its amenities and attractions, will become practically a floating U.S. embassy during the Games.
Maua port terminal chief Denise Lima emphasized that the NBA stars will be able to see all the structures and spaces that Rio has built and/or refurbished to revitalize its port area, including the modern Tomorrow Museum, a project by Spain's Santiago Calatrava, the Museum of the Sea and the Olympic Boulevard.
Rio's revitalized port is considered to be one of the main Olympic legacies and will attract thousands of tourists because of the gigantic screens that have been installed there on which people will be able to watch various competitions and other types of entertainment associated with the 2016 Games.
However, the people who will visit the port will have difficulty approaching the Silver Cloud due to the heavy security detachment deployed around the vessel.
A fence made of bulletproof material will keep the public away from the U.S. athletes, who will be guarded by some 250 Federal Police officers.
"The Federal Police will also have two boats ... that they will use to prevent navigation near the vessel," said Maua port terminal operations director Alexandre Gomes.
The U.S. ship, in addition, anchored at a site far from the docking spaces reserved for the many cruise ships that will visit Rio during the Games.