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After The Olympics – The Venues, Villages + What They Look Like Today

Matt Cardy, Getty Images

There is the bidding, then the building and then they come, thousands and thousands of athletes from all over the world to compete in the Olympics.

When it comes to the venues and tracks and everything, we look at these marvels of engineering and think, this is quite amazing. From the first shovelful of soil to the completed village, from the opening ceremonies to the closing and the 17 days and in between, it’s hard to fathom all of the events and power that make it happen.

The millions and millions (and in some cases, billions) spent to put on the Olympics is mind boggling. All of that money spent for just over two weeks of thrills and excitement for the athletes and viewers.

After the all of the athletes leave and the cameras and goodwill goes away, what happens to these arenas, bobsled tracks, pools, soccer fields, etc?

After looking at pictures online and reading a bit, in some cases these palatial Olympic venues and villages disappear back into the earth.

I know Greece has had a lot of financial hardship, so it is understandable that some of the sites are in disrepair, but those Olympics were less than 10 years ago.Even worse is the fact that Beijing’s Olympic site is now overtaken by graffiti  and debris from vandals and weather. The site for the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo is among the worst, again I’m sure beyond the control of the former Yugoslavia because of war, but just think of all of the wasted millions.

If I were a betting man, I’d think Sochi will end up the same way as it was built in an area where Russia kind of manufactured winter weather for the games.

Here’s to hoping re-purposing of the villages can be done for the games moving forward. The Atlanta and Salt Lake City sites are both doing okay from what I understand as they were taken over by universities.

I love the Olympic Games, and understand they bring massive debt, but when they hit the US again we should try better not to create these venues and villages like we do wedding and bridesmaid dresses, which are normally just used once.

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