These Olympic Venues Were Once The Pride Of Their Cities. Now They Lay In Ruin.

Hosting the Olympics is typically looked upon as an opportunity to cash in for the host city.  The exposure, the tourists, the building and associated jobs all seem like positive aspects of playing host.  But what happens when the Olympics are over?  In some cases, such as Barcelona, the city comes out on top.  They are able to re-use many structures and take advantage of the added value within the region.  But in many instances, the event does nothing but harm in the long run.  The multi-million or billion dollar buildings and stadiums have no use once the Olympians leave town.  They drift into complete disuse and become a blight on the landscape.  Or, in the case of Sarajevo, political events surrounding the location lead to destruction.  In these cases, the once brightly showcased places sit alone and slowly crumble to nothing.

Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics

olympic_venues_001

In 1984, Sarajevo Yugoslavia, which is present-day Bosnia-Herzegovina, hosted the first Winter Olympics held in a Communist state.  The Olympic Committee wanted to make an effort to eliminate politics from its decisions to select host cities.

olympic_venues_041

Just 10 years after the Olympics, Yugoslavia split apart into Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Unsolved issues caused bitter inter-ethnic Yugoslav wars, and Sarajevo was under siege for the next four years.

olympic_venues_040
The Olympic site itself became a war zone.

olympic_venues_004

 

Top of the ski jump.

olympic_venues_005The medal platform.

olympic_venues_006What was a judges stand became high-ground and a strong point for snipers.

olympic_venues_007The bobsled track was turned into a fortress.

olympic_venues_010

olympic_venues_009olympic_venues_008
By the time peace had returned, the former Olympic venue had become a bullet-riddled shell of itself, and it nature is slowly reclaiming it.

Athens 2004 Summer Olympics

olympic_venues_012

Greece spent around $15 billion on the 2004 Summer Olympics.  Most of the Olympic venues there are now falling apart.

olympic_venues_013

Aquatic Center in 2004

olympic_venues_014

The economy in Greece crumbled, and these venues were left empty.

olympic_venues_015

Volleyball Arena

olympic_venues_016

OAKA Main Sports Hall

olympic_venues_017

Field Hockey Stadium

olympic_venues_018

This is just one of the examples of the risks of hosting the Olympics.  Most of these stadiums were built for one specific sport, and many had no local interest to continue to be used.

1972 Munich Summer Olympics Abandoned Train Station

olympic_venues_019

2008 Beijing Summer Olympics

olympic_venues_020

The Beijing Olympics were very flashy and impressive.  China spent $40 billion on the event.  This is the stadium now.

olympic_venues_021

olympic_venues_022

Beach Volleyball Stadium in July 2008

olympic_venues_023

Current state

olympic_venues_024

Rowing Canals in 2008

olympic_venues_026

Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/GettyImages

 

Current state

olympic_venues_027

Beijing Baseball Stadium in 2008

olympic_venues_028

State in 2012

olympic_venues_029

Olympic BMX Track

1936 Berlin Summer Olympics

olympic_venues_030

The infamous ‘Hitler Olympics’.  These sites now stand abandoned.

olympic_venues_031

John Macdougall, AFP/Getty Images

olympic_venues_032

Main Amphitheater

olympic_venues_033

Diving Venue

Helsinki 1952 Summer Olympics

olympic_venues_034

Main Swimming Stadium

olympic_venues_035

 

Source: Distractify