You may have heard of the deserted Olympic site in Rio, but there are several other abandoned Olympic venues all around the world.
Hosting the Olympics is a costly business, and it’s more than just hosting the event itself. Cities have to build stadiums and buildings. But what happens when the games are over? Unfortunately, there are abandoned olympic venues scattered across the globe.
With the Tokyo Olympics around the corner (finally), read about 8 crumbling Olympics sites to learn more about. Just because.
1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In 2016, Rio de Janeiro hosted Latin America’s first Olympics in nearly 40 years. It was an extravaganza and a celebration, as well as a means to spur economic and social development. Not even six months after the olympics, seats are piled up in the stadiums and litter is scattered everywhere. Now, there’s only an echo of the fiesta that occured.
2. Athens, Greece
Athens went over its $15 billion budget for the 2004 Summer Olympics, leaving a heavier burden after the games. The city originally planned to redevelop the Olympics sites into public housing, but the project fell through. Since then, there has been no further investments, leaving the entire area abandoned as it is.
3. Beijing, China
Back in 2008, Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics, and will host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Yet the venues for the Summer Olympics remain empty and closed off, with overgrown grass and rusting signs. Whether Beijing will redevelop these sites is unknown, but something to look forward to.
4. Sarajevo, Bosnia
Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, but these abandoned olympic venues tell a rich and devastating history. A decade later, civil war broke out in former Yugoslavia, turning some of the olympic sites as military bases and camps. Finally, only rubble remains of the Winter Olympics. It is now a reminder of the violence and conflict throughout the 1990s.
5. Atlanta, Georgia, USA
The Fulton County Stadium of Atlanta’s 1996 Summer Olympics was imploded to make way for parking. Yet other olympic sites like the man-made Lake Lanier Olympic Park has hosted major water competitions since the Olympics. But the rest, like the tennis courts, face the same abandoned and derelict fate as the rest.
6. Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s abandoned olympic village from the 1936 Nazi Olympics has been through some iterations throughout history. The village formerly hosted over 4,000 athletes, but the buildings now lay empty and crumbling. Ironically, Adolf Hitler built Olympiapark in a idyllic vision of his totalitarian regime, and now the village is wasting away. During WWII, the military used the buildings as a hospital. Recently, there is talk of plans to redevelop the former Olympic village, away from the historical atrocities it not symbolises.
7. Turin, Italy
Turin hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006. However, the Olympic village isn’t entirely empty. The Italian Migrant program brought over 1,000 African migrants and refugees into Turin and converted the buildings into refugees housing. But the authorities dropped the program. Now, the old Olympic village looks dilapidated, with signs of weathering and graffiti.
8. Pyeongchang, South Korea
Pyeongchang’s 2018 Winter Olympics venues remain unused. The site for the downhill skiing events are untouched since the games. The iceskating rink ice-less. There has been growing attention toward these abandoned sites. You can find protest posters scattered across the Jeongseon Alpine Centre. These poster call for future upkeep as winter sports decline in the region.
By Isabel Wibowo / Images from Business Insider and ABC News