Berlin Olympic Village
1936 Summer Olympics
Hopefully, Rio de Janiero and Tokyo can learn a lesson from Berlin. The Olympic village was built for the 1936 Games, which have the dubious distinction of being presided over by Hitler. Once bustling with activity when the games were underway, the village and its buildings now sit abandoned following years of war, occupation, and subsequent reunification. Money is being raised, however, to preserve the area and its historical importance.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
1932 Summer Olympics
These five cities made sure to recoup their Olympic-sized investment. Constructed in the early 1920s, primarily as the home of the University of Southern California’s football team, this stadium is the only one in the world to host two Olympic Games. After the 1932 Olympics, UCLA and USC shared the Coliseum as their home field. Before the 1984 Olympics, the stadium only needed renovations, and it was ready to host again. It remains USC’s home stadium today, 92 years after completion.
Wukesong Baseball Field
2008 Summer Olympics
Now that the city has been awarded the 2022 Winter Games, let's hope Beijing has learned its lesson from the Summer Olympics. Beijing's Olympic baseball stadium was part of a larger sporting complex, but before the next Olympics even began, weeds were beginning to sprout tall. If you try to visit today, all that you'll find is a shopping mall, as the baseball stadium was demolished at a loss.
1976 Summer Olympics
Originally designed as a velodrome, a bicycle racing track, for the Montreal games, the building has since been renovated into the Montreal Biodome. A variety of simulated habitats replicate the tropical rainforests of South America, the North American wilderness, the marine environment of the Saint Lawrence River, and the polar conditions of both the Arctic and Antarctic.
Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track
1984 Winter Olympics
Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Games in what was then Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, the 1990s brought the arrival of the Yugoslav wars where the bobsled and luge track was used as an artillery position during the Seige of Sarajevo. Now mostly a graffiti park, damage from bullets can still be seen today. On a positive note, plans have been proposed to renovate the area.
Montjuïc Municipal Pool
1992 Summer Olympics
From the outset, Barcelona’s plans for the Montjuic Municipal Pool utilized existing structures. Though it was refurbished for the 1992 games, the pool was actually built in 1929. Following the Olympics, the swimming center continues to see use by being open to the public.
München Olympiastadion Station
1972 Summer Olympics
This station addition to the German S-Bahn ferried visitors from around the city to the site of the 1972 Berlin games. Once the Olympic flame was extinguished, however, the line was officially abandoned and the tracks even removed. Today, the station is a home for graffiti and quickly encroaching greenery.
Centennial Olympic Park
1996 Summer Olympics
Before the Atlanta games, the area that previously occupied the location of Centennial Olympic Park was an abandoned industrial area, dotted with vacant lots and run-down buildings. Completed in two separate phases, the park featured sponsored exhibits and medal ceremonies and now covers over 21 acres of green space. A fountain in the shape of the Olympic rings shoots water jets in time to the plaza’s music.
Athens Olympic Sports Complex
2004 Summer Olympics
The 2004 Athens games were supposed to be a homecoming for Greece. What they got instead was crippling debt. After the games, the Olympic Sports Complex remains only a shell of its former self. The outdoor swimming pool, that controversially lacked a roof to protect from the hot Athens sun, has since been drained. Only the interior diving pool remains in use.
Stadio Olimpico di Torino
2006 Winter Olympics
Similar to Barcelona, Turin’s plans for an Olympic stadium revolved around reconstruction of the 1933 Benito Mussolini Municipal Stadium. Post-Winter Games, the new Olympic venue housed both Torino F.C. and Juventus F.C., the latter being Italy’s most successful professional soccer club. While Juventus recently moved out, Torino still maintains Stadio Olimpico as its home field.