What 10 Previous Olympic Venues Look Like Today
A lot of preparation—and construction—goes into getting a city ready to host the Olympics. But what happens when the games are over and the structures built to hold the influx of visitors are left standing? Some cities find other uses for their new venues, while others leave them to simply take up space. Here are the fates of 10 such structures from Olympic Games past.
1. PANATHENAIC STADIUM
The Panathenaic Stadium hosted the first modern Olympic games in 1896, but the stadium itself is much older. The original racecourse at the site was built around the 6th century BCE, a limestone stadium was added around 330 BCE, and the structure was rebuilt in marble with a 50,000 seat capacity in 144 CE. The Panathenaic (pictured above) still holds the distinction of being the only stadium in the world made entirely of marble.
2. BERLIN'S OLYMPIC VILLAGE
Berlin built 145 buildings and the impressive Olympiastadion for the 1936 Olympics. The stadium has been renovated and is still in use. Parts of the Olympic Village were used as military barracks until 1992, when the Soviet army withdrew from the area and left it abandoned.
3. HELLINIKON OLYMPIC CANOE/KAYAK SLALOM CENTRE
Built for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, this watercourse was left to become a dried out, overgrown pit. Other venues have been abandoned because of Greece’s poor economic state.
4. SARAJEVO OLYMPIC VILLAGE
The photo above shows what remains of a hotel built for the 1984 Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The area was hit hard during the Bosnian War in the 1990s and many of its Olympic venues were left in ruins.
5. THE STADE OLYMPIQUE YVES-DU-MANOIR
Also known as the Stade Olympique de Colombes, this stadium was used as the main venue for the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris and has since hosted football and rugby matches for French national teams.
6. OLYMPIC STADIUM AMSTERDAM
Following the 1928 Summer Olympics, Amsterdam's Olympic Stadium was used for several sporting events—from soccer to motorcycle racing. It received major renovations in 1996, and still regularly hosts sporting events.
7. CENTENNIAL OLYMPIC STADIUM
Shortly after the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Stadium received a facelift and, in 1997, became Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves. The renovation took seven months and required the removal of approximately 35,000 seats.
8. NIPPON BUDOKAN
Built to house martial arts events for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the Nippon Budokan has gone on to become a legendary concert venue and a mandatory stop for anyone who's anyone in rock 'n' roll. Several bands have released live concert albums and performances that were taped inside the iconic space, turning the "Live at Budokan" tag into a badge of honor.
9. MONTREAL OLYMPIC STADIUM
The largest venue in Canada in terms of seating capacity, Montreal Olympic Stadium was home to the Montreal Expos until they moved in 2004. Now it’s used as a multipurpose venue for all sorts of events, sports included.
10. ANTWERP'S OLYMPISCH STADION
Built as the main venue for the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, this stadium has seen a decrease in seating capacity over the decades. It is now home to the KFCO Beerschot Wilrijk football club.
All images via Getty Images unless otherwise noted.