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Abandoned Summer Olympic Venues: What Happens After The Torch Goes Out?


This month the world is celebrating Rio Olympics. This is the 31st summer Olympics. Everyone amazed to see the infrastructures in the Olympic venues. Billions of dollars were spent to build the infrastructures. But due to the lack of plan many venues remain unused, unmaintained and abandoned.

What happened to the venues after the Olympic flame is extinguished?

Berlin, 1936

1936 Berlin Olympics was XI Olympiad which was known as notorious ‘Nazi Olympics’. In 1931, Berlin was selected to host 1936 Olympic. In that time Adolf Hitler was rising in the power. As soon as Berlin got the right, banners with Swastika hung beside the Olympic flag.

Today the 1936 Games village is totally abandoned and it has turned into ruins. The game village was located in Elstal (today part of Wustermark) and was designed by Werner and Walter March.

berlin swimming pool
Swimming Pool Photo Courtesy: Peter Bromley
a deserted pool
A deserted pool Photo Courtesy: Martin Sachse/Getty Images
deserted houses for the athletes
Deserted houses for the athletes in the former Olympic Village. Photograph: Martin Sachse/Getty Images
permanent Olympic village
The first permanent Olympic village

Mexico City, 1968

The XII version of Olympiad held Mexico City. Some venues of that place are totally deserted after the Olympic.

abandoned cycling velodrome
Mexico City’s abandoned Cycling Velodrome
cycling velodrome
Cycling Velodrome
mexico's cycling velodrome
Cycling Velodrome
the cinema hall
During the Games, the cinema hosted movie nights and other entertainment for the athletes Photograph: Gary Hustwit

Munich, 1972

München Olympiastadion is the station which was built in the 1970 and opened on 26th May, 1972 for the 1972 Munich Olympics. The station is now no use and a deserted place. After the Olympic, the station was disconnected to the regular service network and the tracks were removed which leading to the station.

abandoned train station
The abandoned train station which was used during the time of Munich Olympics Photograph: Julian Neugebauer

Moscow, 1980

The XXII Olympiad in Moscow was the first Olympic which was held in Easter Europe. But after the Games the old Soviet venue was deserted.

moscow's old soviet venue
The old Soviet venue for the Moscow Olympiad located in Tallinn, Estonia

Atlanta, 1996

Atlanta Olympics’ tennis court was at the Stone Mountain Tennis Centre. After the Olympic the permanent tennis facility built in a corner of Stone Mountain Park. But soon it was losing money and weeds growing in the outer courts.

the tennis court
Tennis Court Photograph: David Goldman/AP Photo

Athens, 2004

The XXVIII Olympiad was held in Athens and the estimated cost was €9bn. A decade after the event many Olympic venues lay abandoned. The game became the source of anger amongst many Greeks as the country was facing six years recession, unemployment, poverty, homelessness and with many questions how the country has benefited from the multimillion dollar Games?

rowing competition
The Schinias Centre in Marathon that hosted the rowing and canoeing competitions. Photograph: Yannis Kolesidis/EPA
abandoned beach volleyball venue
The abandoned beach volleyball venue in Neo Faliro. Photograph: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
Olympic sports complex
The Olympic Sports Complex. Photograph: Yannis Kolesidis/EPA
remains of a fountain
The remains of a fountain decorated with the Olympic rings and graffiti-defaced marble blocks dedicated to Greek Olympic medal winners are seen at the Olympic village. Photograph: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
abandoned training pool
An abandoned training pool for athletes at the Olympic Village. Photograph: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
abandoned training field
An abandoned training field at the Olympic Village. Photograph: Orestis Panagiotou/EPA
outside the Olympic stadium
Outside the Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images
The Taekwondo Olympic Stadium
The Taekwondo Olympic Stadium at Faliro Olympic Complex. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images
The Olympic Softball Stadium
The Olympic Softball Stadium at the Helliniko Olympic Complex. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images
The Olympic Aquatic Centre
The Olympic Aquatic Centre. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images
The Canoe/Kayak Slalom Centre
The Canoe/Kayak Slalom Centre at the Helliniko Olympic complex. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images
The Canoe/Kayak Slalom Centre
The Canoe/Kayak Slalom Centre at the Helliniko Olympic complex. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Beijing, 2008

Beijing hosted 2008 Olympics. Since then many venues like beach volleyball, kayaking and some others have remained abandoned.

The beach volleyball venue
The beach volleyball venue of the Beijing Olympics remains deserted and unmaintained. Photograph: David Gray/Reuter
Kayaking competition venue
Kayaking competition venue Photograph: David Gray/Reuters
Baseball competition field
Baseball competition field Photograph: David Gray/Reuters
Deserted venue in Beijing
Deserted venue Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

After the Olympic torch will go out from Rio let’s see what happened with the venues.

Suchismita Biswas
Suchismita Biswas
Pen is mightier than swords - these words make me passionate about writing. Except writing I love to travel , love to explore the unknown places, love photography and love listening to music. Also I am an avid reader of books. I'm a simple girl but I am what I am.

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