What abandoned Olympic venues from around the world look like today

Read full story

abandoned olympic venues 33 REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Cities around the world are starting to question if hosting the Olympics is worth it .

Most cities simply do not have the infrastructure required to withstand the two-week influx of athletes, coaches, fans, and media members. The money required to build state-of-the-art athletic facilities is skyrocketing , and academic research suggests spending billions on a two-week event is not a wise investment.

In the worst-case scenario for host cities, Olympic venues go unused after the games and become white elephants - total wastes of space and money. We've seen this at a number of different Olympic sites around the world. Of course, the reasons this happens are specific to each country: Sarajevo, for example, suffered from a gruesome war that caused the 1984 Winter Olympic venues to crumble. Nevertheless, these photos from Reuters, Getty Images, and others have become symbolic of the downside of hosting the Olympics.

View As: One Page Slides

Sarajevo hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984.

Sarajevo hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984.

One decade later, civil war broke out and ravaged the country.

One decade later, civil war broke out and ravaged the country.

Some of the Olympic venues were repurposed and used as military facilities.

Some of the Olympic venues were repurposed and used as military facilities.

Source: REUTERS

The bobsled facility was turned into an artillery stronghold during the war.

The bobsled facility was turned into an artillery stronghold during the war.

Source: REUTERS

Today the heavily gratified course is sometimes used for BMX races.

Today the heavily gratified course is sometimes used for BMX races.

A dog walks past the Kosovo Stadium, where the opening ceremonies were held.

A dog walks past the Kosovo Stadium, where the opening ceremonies were held.

And weeds grow over the walls of the Kosovo Stadium.

And weeds grow over the walls of the Kosovo Stadium.

The abandoned ski jump at Mount Igman.

The abandoned ski jump at Mount Igman.

Seating is overrun with grass and weeds.

Seating is overrun with grass and weeds.

Another angle of the ski jump.

Another angle of the ski jump.

The track itself is covered in debris.

The track itself is covered in debris.

The ski jump through a broken window.

The ski jump through a broken window.

The Olympic rings on a tower above what used to be the figure skating arena.

The Olympic rings on a tower above what used to be the figure skating arena.

This is what's left of the figure skating facility, Zetra Hall.

This is what's left of the figure skating facility, Zetra Hall.

Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996. The Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was used for baseball, but was demolished in 1997. The space was turned into 4,000 parking spaces.

Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996. The Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was used for baseball, but was demolished in 1997. The space was turned into 4,000 parking spaces.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The cauldron was moved from Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Stadium when the stadium was renamed Turner Field and repurposed for the Braves. The cauldron now sits idly overlooking a highway, and Turner Field will be demolished in 2017.

The cauldron was moved from Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Stadium when the stadium was renamed Turner Field and repurposed for the Braves. The cauldron now sits idly overlooking a highway, and Turner Field will be demolished in 2017.

Source: Around the Rings

Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, and will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, and will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

A sign from the area where the baseball stadium once stood.

A sign from the area where the baseball stadium once stood.

A stray dog on a field that was once inside the baseball stadium.

A stray dog on a field that was once inside the baseball stadium.

A make-shift broom lying in what was once an Olympic "green area."

A make-shift broom lying in what was once an Olympic "green area."

Tourists stand to take pictures next to the rings in a former "green area" from the Olympics.

Tourists stand to take pictures next to the rings in a former "green area" from the Olympics.

The parking lot for the cycling stadium is now used for driving tests.

The parking lot for the cycling stadium is now used for driving tests.

Source: REUTERS

A rusting sign from the kayaking facility.

A rusting sign from the kayaking facility.

A security guard with a flat tire from his bicycle at the deserted kayaking venue.

A security guard with a flat tire from his bicycle at the deserted kayaking venue.

Source: REUTERS

The three empty poles in the left of the shot once flew country flags of medal-winning Olympians.

The three empty poles in the left of the shot once flew country flags of medal-winning Olympians.

Source: REUTERS

The BMX facility.

The BMX facility.

Many of their stadiums are shut out from the public, like the beach volleyball facility.

Many of their stadiums are shut out from the public, like the beach volleyball facility.

A promotional banner for beach volleyball still stands.

A promotional banner for beach volleyball still stands.

Panels on the outsides of the beach volleyball facility are falling off.

Panels on the outsides of the beach volleyball facility are falling off.

A boat sails past the stands and observation tower from the deserted rowing facility.

A boat sails past the stands and observation tower from the deserted rowing facility.

The polluted waters near the facility.

The polluted waters near the facility.

Athens went $15 billion over budget to prepare for the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Athens went $15 billion over budget to prepare for the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Source: IMF

Greece shouldered the cost overruns, and many of the facilities have fallen into disuse.

Greece shouldered the cost overruns, and many of the facilities have fallen into disuse.

Source: Bloomberg

The Olympic village is totally abandoned.

The Olympic village is totally abandoned.

The city planned to turn the Olympic village into public housing.

The city planned to turn the Olympic village into public housing.

Source: Telegraph

Thousands of families applied to live there, but the whole project fell through.

Thousands of families applied to live there, but the whole project fell through.

Source: Telegraph

Seating areas are overgrown with weeds.

Seating areas are overgrown with weeds.

And stairs and totally covered in rust.

And stairs and totally covered in rust.

The canoe and kayak facility was the first in Olympic history to be filled with salt water rather than fresh water.

The canoe and kayak facility was the first in Olympic history to be filled with salt water rather than fresh water.

Source: NYT

Now it's abandoned.

Now it's abandoned.

And completely dry in patches.

And completely dry in patches.

There's graffiti everywhere.

There's graffiti everywhere.

Beach volleyball practice courts are growing wild.

Beach volleyball practice courts are growing wild.

The beach volleyball venue from a distance.

The beach volleyball venue from a distance.

Inside, it's a nightmare.

Inside, it's a nightmare.

And totally useless.

And totally useless.

Weeds are everywhere.

Weeds are everywhere.

The diving center is drained.

The diving center is drained.

One pool is filthy.

One pool is filthy.

And totally polluted.

And totally polluted.

Frogs have found homes, at least.

Frogs have found homes, at least.

The tracks are still used by some, but it doesn't mean they're in good shape.

The tracks are still used by some, but it doesn't mean they're in good shape.

The field hockey facility.

The field hockey facility.

And an old podium.

And an old podium.

Now check out how preparation is going for Rio 2016

Now check out how preparation is going for Rio 2016

What Brazil's $10 billion Olympic venues look like one year before the games >

?

Add Comment()

Comments ()

X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.