9 Historic Olympic Cities And What They Look Like Today
Some venues were repurposed and used for years after the games; others were abandoned and fell to disrepair.
1. Lake Placid, New York, 1932 — III Winter Olympic Games
James B. Sheffield Olympic Skating Rink
Now: The skating park was renovated to accommodate the 1980 Olympics. Between both Olympic Games, the rink hosted the local Lake Placid High School football games. The rink is now open for public skating.
Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex
Now: The original ski jump was demolished and rebuilt before the 1980 Games in Lake Placid. The site is now home to an Olympic training center — the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.
2. Los Angeles, California, 1932 — X Summer Olympic Games
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Now: The stadium is one of the most historic venues in the United States, hosting many major sporting events over the years. The Olympic torch is re-lit for the fourth quarter of University of Southern California football games and during present-day Olympic Games.
Grand Olympic Auditorium
Now: After years of hosting concerts, professional wrestling, and rave parties, it is now home to the Glory Church of Jesus Christ, a Korean-American church, after being purchased in 2005.
3. Berlin, Germany, 1936 — XI Summer Olympic Games
Now: Since the 1936 Games, Olympiastadion has played host to many events, including three FIFA World Cup events and countless concerts. Olympiastadion went under a multimillion-dollar renovation in preparation for the 2006 World Cup.
Olympic Village outside of Berlin
Now: The former Olympic Village is now deserted, except Jesse Owen’s dorm room, which has been kept fully intact.
4. Oslo, Norway, 1952 — VI Winter Olympic Games
Now: The original stadium, which was voted one of the “top 20 sports venues of the 20th century,” was demolished in 2004 and replaced by New Bislett Stadion. The new stadium was a part of a failed bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics and a current bid for the 2022 Games.
Now: Holmenkollbakken has hosted three World Championships since the 1952 Games. The structure was completely demolished and rebuilt between 2008 and 2010, in preparation for the 2011 World Championships.
5. Sapporo, Japan, 1972 — XI Winter Olympic Games
Mt. Teine Bobsleigh Course
Now: The track was dismantled and abandoned after Nagano was awarded the 1998 Winter Games. The original bobsled house is still standing but is empty and ridden with graffiti.
6. Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, 1984 — XIV Winter Olympic Games
Now: The bobsled track is mostly intact, except it is now home to overgrown foliage and graffiti. The majority of venues from the 1984 Games have been deserted and sprayed with bullet holes from the Bosnian War of the ’90s.
7. Calgary, Canada, 1988 — XV Winter Olympic Games
Paskapoo Ski Hill
Now: Various phases of renovation have been done to the park since the Olympics left town, but the Canada Olympic Park is still actively used during the winter months, along with the summer months for mountain biking and festivals.
8. Athens, Greece, 2004 — XXVIII Summer Olympic Games
Olympic Stadium Spyros Louis
Now: The stadium is one of the few venues from the 2004 Games that is still in use. It’s played host to many major events, including the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final and stadium rock concerts.
Hellinikon Olympic Softball Stadium
Now: Although it is not technically “abandoned,” the stadium has not held a softball game inside since the gold medal final in the 2004 Olympics.
Faliro Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre
Now: Overgrown with grass and sitting empty, the stadium now joins the long list of wasted Olympic venues.
9. Beijing, China, 2008 — XXIX Summer Olympic Games
Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground
Now: Only six years have passed and the grounds have since been left empty. The structure remains intact, but the decorations and banners, which hung from the building, are now torn and falling down.
Beijing National Aquatic Center
Now: A massive renovation took place after the Olympics left town, turning the inside into a water park. The building and water park have even won awards for innovation and engineering.
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