The Desolate State Of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later

The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later

Ten years ago this week, the Summer Olympics triumphantly returned to their historic home with splashy opening ceremonies in Athens, Greece. Unfortunately, the glory did not last after the Games. While the dilapidated state of Athens' venues post-Games has been well-documented, new photos taken this week show just how devastating the Olympics were for the city.

Athens reportedly spent $US12 billion building brand-new venues specifically for the Games, most of which sit unused today, covered in graffiti, with massive cracks in their exteriors. Like haunting relics from a lost civilisation, the stadiums have taken on the same kind of vibe as the 2500-year-old Parthenon.

It's no secret that of all the cities which have hosted Olympic Games in the last several decades, Athens suffered the worst economic fallout. While the aftermath is certainly not as bad as some cities — Sarajevo, for example, was torn apart by a bitter civil war just a few years after hosting the Winter Olympics — Athens seems to be a special case. Some say the economic devastation wrought upon Greece in the last decade was due to the government financially overextending itself just to host the Games.

We've written extensively about the issues many cities face after the Games due to pressure from the IOC to overbuild. Just one look at these images proves how much reform is desperately needed.

The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later
The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later
The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later
The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later
The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later
The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later
The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later
The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later
The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later
The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later
The Desolate State of Athens Olympic Venues 10 Years Later

Photos by Milos Bicanski / Getty Images Sport


Comments

    Looks like something from the 70's, hard to believe it's only 10 years old.

      I bet Beijing is in a worst state and that's 4 years younger

        Na, most infrastucture the chinese built is actually within Beijing urban areas that people can actually access. on top of that, Chinese govt will never let the site turn to such ruin, think they care about their dignity and pride a fair bit.

    Given the complete lack of maintenance, I'm surprised it's in such good shape. Other than needing a good clean and a tidy up, everything seems to be fine! Look at the indoor stadium in pic 10. Remove the abandoned shoes from the picture and the context of the article, and it would just look like it's closed for the day!

    Last edited 08/08/14 3:40 pm

      The pool doesn't look too bad either. Our old backyard pool would look that bad after a single winter of neglect. (Although I admit we didn't leave chairs in there.)

      As far as I know Sydney's Olympic facilities are mostly still in decent shape, although I'm sure that there are some (equestrian?) which haven't had much TLC. The Olympic Stadium is still a major venue.

      But I'm pretty sure that for Sydney it was explicitly planned that way, with an intention to break even after the games shut down, partly because at the time there were already complaints about overspending by Olympic host cities.

        I drive through Olympic Park everyday, and most, if not all, of the venues are used just about every week. There are always teams playing and training in the hockey stadium, schools having athletics carnivals on the warm-up track, and the tennis centre goes nuts everyday with tennis lessons.

        And all this is on land that was recalimed from a garbage tip.

        I think you'll find the NSW government's financial issues all started around the year 2000.... They're only starting to come good now!

        EVERY Olympic city makes that claim. Whether they can back it up is the make/break. it was to Sydney's advantage that our large scale sporting venues were not as developed as the embedded cities like Athens, LA etc. The IOC requires cities to create new developments as part of the hosting - and this is financial insanity for cities that don't NEED new venues.

    Having played on the hockey pitch for the Greek national team I can tell you that they had no intention of maintaining the stadiums for their fringe sports. There is no demand (or money) for the facilities.

    I look at those pictures and think, hmmmmm scrap metal. Money to be made.

    *sigh* at least for us in australia, our olympic sites get used for other stuff.. like the easter show, conventions, anime expos, etc.

    For once Australia had a future plans. That being said it is EU......

    I guess this is one of the primary reasons that the London Olympics were so focussed on re-using existing archatecture and existing resources, and being able to re-deploy and re-use any assets built.

    I've seen that the Australia venues are actually well-used and maintained since their being built, and that is something we can be proud of. We built amazing facilities, put on a fantastic games, and didn't squander the money.

    Reading this article, I remarked to a friend playing games nearby, "Wow... The Olympics sure fucked Athens up." Without even looking or knowing the context, he replied, "Just Athens?"

    Why isn't anyone in Athens utilising or re appropriating the space? Just looking at those seats makes me think of an outdoor cinema for short films...

    The Olympics are a great example of the disparity of the modern age.

    All the money generated by the games (tv rights, merchandising) goes to a select few and outside of the host city, and the costs of construction are worn by the tax paying individuals. The old argument about it bringing money to the host city, is a load of crap. A few weeks of accommodation and food for tourists, does not kick start an economy (see also World Cup Soccer).

    Globalisation has just made it easier for a select few to use the earth as it's playground, and it's people as serfs, and maintaining their lifestyles at the expense of others.

    I'll get off my soap box now. Thanks for not reading.

    http://www.foxsports.com.au/more-sports/athens-olympic-site-in-ruins-10-years-on-from-2004-games/story-e6frf56c-1227024073167

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