After the games go: 17 haunting abandoned Olympic venues

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Some Olympic Venues Are Ghost Towns

Bringing the Olympics to your country, whether in summer or winter, is a costly business. Just ask the recent hosts. The games set back Sochi $51 billion, London $11.6 billion and Beijing at least $40 billion.

Not insignificant sums.

But at least you get a lasting sporting legacy right? A world class infrastructure that provides generations a chance to get active? Not always.

In fact, the globe is littered with the rusting husks of former Olympic venues. From stadiums to ski jumps, landscapes around the world are covered with the remnants of forgotten contests.

As the Rio Games continue, wildly over budget and amid protests over the cost, here are a few lonely and sometimes spooky abandoned venues from contests past.

Scroll through to see these spooky photos:

After the games go: 17 haunting abandoned Olympic venues
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After the games go: 17 haunting abandoned Olympic venues

The Sarajevo Winter Olympics bobsleigh track, which used to look like this.

Riders from across the world hurtled down the track on Mount Trebević in 1984 to the delight of tens of thousands of spectators, in what was then Yugoslavia, with East Germany winning both gold medals.

But now looks like this.

Years of damage during the Yugoslav wars and a stint as an artillery position for Bosnian Serbs firing on Sarajevo have left it a monochrome shadow of its former self. Overgrown foliage and a dusting of graffiti complete the neglected look.

The Sarajevo ski jump.

Six days of daring feats saw Finland, East Germany and Czechoslovakia (as they were then known) battle it out for various medals to the delight of the onlookers.

Which now leads nowhere in particular.

Also damaged during war in the '90s, the jumps have long since been left to the elements, their concrete slopes an echo of former excitement.

Its judge's box is particularly spooky.

The winners' podium from those 1984 Games.

The hotel near the ski jump in Sarajevo.

However dismal the athlete's village might appear to contenders in Rio, it's several leagues above these digs.

The softball stadium from Athens 2004, which saw the U.S. triumph over Australia.

It hasn't since a softball game since then.

Officials told reporters the stadium remained in good working order after the Olympics, but that no one played there. It's since succumbed to the inevitable march of nature.

The Athens kayak course, which managed to host events a year after the Olympics.

But has since gone bone dry.

...Still dry

The swimming complex from Athens, 2004.

Which now looks like this.

The Athens games were thought to cost some $15 billion, a sky-high figure that left the country saddled with debt. Some of the venues have housed migrants and refugees in recent months.

Some of the sculptures and artworks from Athens, including this fountain.

Athens, GA

The Athens baseball stadium, once a field of dreams.

Now a ghost town.


Berlin's Olympic village.

The 1936 Summer Games welcomed some 3,600 athletes as well as their coaches and staff to the village. The event - awarded to Germany two years before the Nazis came to power - was designed to outdo the Los Angeles Games four years previously.

The village was built between 1934 and 1936 and included numerous residential buildings, sports halls, a swimming pool, sauna and hospital.

Berlin, Germany. 
After the Games it was used as barracks for the German army, passing into the hands of the Russian officers from 1945 until their withdrawal in 1992. The site is now a tourist attraction.
Berlin, Germany

Munich's München Olympiastadion train station. (Photo by @martinscholz86)

Munich's 1972 Summer Olympics were overshadowed by the murder of 11 members of the Israeli team by Palestinian militants inside the Olympic village.

A special station opened to serve spectators and athletes but demand for the trains dried up once the flame had left town and the station eventually shut in 1988.

Beijing's BMX track. (photo by @basrotgans)

Yes, Beijing was only 8 years ago, but numerous venues for the Summer Games, including the rowing and kayaking center, the baseball arena and the BMX track have either been deserted or demolished. 

Beijing's mascot graveyard, where you'll find BeiBei ...

and Huanhuan...
and Nini...
...and Yingying 

...and Jingjing

Even the country's perky cartoon cheerleaders have been left, face down in the dirt, behind an abandoned and uncompleted shopping mall in Beijing.

Atlanta's Herndon stadium from the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Some of Atlanta's venues have fared better than others. Many have been refurbished and continue to put on sporting events, while others have fallen prey to neglect.

The Stone Mountain Tennis Center in Georgia, another unused legacy from Atlanta.

Turin athlete's village from the 2006 Winter Games.

Italy's ski jump tower from the 1956 Winter Olympics.

The Trampolino Olimpico actually dates back to the 1920s and has been featured in the filmFor Your Eyes Only. Since 1990, though, it's been left lonely among the pines.


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