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When a country is chosen to host the Olympic games, construction begins (or current venues are expanded) on arenas, stadiums, tracks, housing and the infrastructure that holds it all together. Unfortunately, plans for the host city to continue using the structures doesn’t always happen, and many amazing venues have fallen into states of disrepair. Here are several former Olympic venues and a few examples of what happened after everyone left.
Sarajevo, in the former country of Yugoslavia, hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. While some venues in the city are still used, such as the Koševo Stadium, other spots tell a different tale. The Yugoslav wars, which happened in the 1990s, left marks on the bobsleigh and luge track, for example, as Bosnian Serb forces used it as an artillery position. It remains standing today, covered over in graffiti, still bearing the marks of warfare.
The site of the 2004 Summer Olympics, Athens, Greece, has many venues that have been abandoned and left to the ravages of time. In just little over a decade, various locations throughout the Olympic complexes lay in waste, well on their way to ruin. One of those, the aquatic center, was originally built for the 1991 Mediterranean Games and was expanded and remodeled for the Olympics, has since fallen out of use.
Even though it wasn’t terribly long ago, the 2008 Summer Olympics that took place in Beijing, China has left behind hulking multi-million dollar structures that have been abandoned like yesterday’s trash. While some venues are still in use today, others, such as the beach volleyball stadium, have started to show the strain of lack of maintenance and interest.
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
The U.S. was the home of the 1996 Summer Olympics, when it took place in Atlanta, Georgia. Some venues were converted, others remain in use, some were torn down and still others, as is the common tale here, were left abandoned. The Stone Mountain Tennis Center, for example, closed in 2007 and continues to fall apart from disuse.