After the games go: 17 haunting abandoned Olympic venues

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.

Scroll through to see these spooky photos:

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17 haunting abandoned Olympic venues
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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.

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.
A view of the disused ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics on Mount Igman, near Sarajevo September 19, 2013. Abandoned and left to crumble into oblivion, most of the 1984 Winter Olympic venues in Bosnia's capital Sarajevo have been reduced to rubble by neglect as much as the 1990s conflict that tore apart the former Yugoslavia. The bobsleigh and luge track at Mount Trebevic, the Mount Igman ski jumping course and accompanying objects are now decomposing into obscurity. The bobsleigh and luge track, which was also used for World Cup competitions after the Olympics, became a Bosnian-Serb artillery stronghold during the war and is nowadays a target of frequent vandalism. The clock is now ticking towards the 2014 Winter Olympics, with October 29 marking 100 days to the opening of the Games in the Russian city of Sochi. Picture taken on September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Tags: SOCIETY SPORT OLYMPICS SKIING)

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.
A view of a disused and ruined hotel for competitors of Winter Olympics Sarajevo on Mount Igman near Sarajevo September 19, 2013. Abandoned and left to crumble into oblivion, most of the 1984 Winter Olympic venues in Bosnia's capital Sarajevo have been reduced to rubble by neglect as much as the 1990s conflict that tore apart the former Yugoslavia. The bobsleigh and luge track at Mount Trebevic, the Mount Igman ski jumping course and accompanying objects are now decomposing into obscurity. The bobsleigh and luge track, which was also used for World Cup competitions after the Olympics, became a Bosnian-Serb artillery stronghold during the war and is nowadays a target of frequent vandalism. The clock is now ticking towards the 2014 Winter Olympics, with October 29 marking 100 days to the opening of the Games in the Russian city of Sochi. Picture taken on September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Tags: SOCIETY SPORT OLYMPICS CIVIL UNREST) ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 02 OF 23 FOR PACKAGE 'SARAJEVO'S WINTER OLYMPIC LEGACY'. TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH 'DADO IGMAN'
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.
It has since gone bone dry. 
Still dry. 
The swimming complex from Athens, 2004.
ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 31: General view of a swimming pool in the former Olympic Village in Athens, Greece on July 31, 2014. Ten years ago the XXVIII Olympiad was held in Athens from the 13th - 29th August with the motto 'Welcome Home'. The cost of hosting the games was estimated to be approx 9 billion euros with the majority of sporting venues built specifically for the games. Due to Greece's economic frailties post Olympic Games there has been no further investment and the majority of the newly constructed stadiums now lie abandoned. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
It 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. 
Abandoned

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.

Athletes homes at the Olympic Village Berlin of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games on July 4, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The Olympic Village in Berlin of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, the Reich Sports Field, was designed by the brothers Werner and Walter March and was built in the years 1934-1936. During the games approximately 3600 athletes with coaches and staff stayed in the village. The village consisted of a reception building, 136 single-storey and five two-storey residential buildings, a large dining house, a kitchen house, the Hindenburg House, the Commandant's House, a sports hall, a swimming pool, a sauna, and a hospital. The dining House of Nations consisted of 38 dining rooms. (Photo by Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty Images)

Munich's München Olympiastadion train station

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

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.

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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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.

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