Eerie Photographs Of Abandoned And Decaying Olympic Venues Around The World

Every Olympic host country considers it an honor to have the games held on their soil, and will stop at nothing to ensure their year would be the grandest. But what happens to all the structures built just for the purpose of hosting the games for a few days?

#1. Bobsleigh Track, Sarajevo, 1984 Winter Olympics

The bobsleigh and luge track at Mount Trebevic, the Mount Igman ski-jumping course, and related infrastructure are mere shadows of their previously glorious selves. Now covered in graffiti, cyclists use these tracks for downhill activities.

Dado Ruvic

Dado Ruvic

#2. Olympic Village, Athens, 2004 Summer Olympics Venue

The huge training pool for athletes at the Olympic Village is now a giant garbage pit of brown muck.

Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

#3. Ski Jump Tower, Cortina D’ampezzo, Italy, 1956 Winter Olympics Venue

This 60-year-old structure may still look mesmerizing with the foggy mountain framing the grandstands, but up close, the dilapidated wooden tower is home to nothing but rotting beams.

Fabio Gregoroni

#4. Swimming Pool, Berlin, 1936 Summer Olympics Venue

The village in Elstal, west of Berlin, which housed over 4.000 athletes for the notorious 1936 Olympic Games, was used by the German and Russian armies as barracks before being totally abandoned in 1992.

Peter Bromley

#5. Ski Jumping Tower, Grenoble, France, 1968 Winter Olympic Games

The view from the top of this majestic tower is as grand as ever. Its cement structure, however, has long been reduced to rubble.

Maxime B

#6. Olympic Sports Complex, Sarajevo, 1984 Winter Olympics Venue

What was once part of the Olympic Sports Complex in Sarajevo for the 1984 Winter Olympics is now the final resting place for hundreds of Sarajevans.

Michael J. Haggerty

#7. Kayak And Canoeing Venue, Athens, 2004 Summer Olympics Venue

A vast audience of weeds and ferns have replaced the thousands of screaming fans who sat on these very bleachers more than a decade ago.

Milos Bicanski

Ioanna Sakellaraki

#8. Beach Volleyball Venue, Beijing, 2008 Summer Olympics

The 2008 Beijing Olympics venue lies deserted and unmaintained in central Beijing.

David Gray/Reuters

#9. Main Swimming Pool, Athens, 2004 Summer Olympics Venue

The seats for reporters along the sidelines are now nothing more than a shattered mess of splintered wood.

Kyodo News/ Newscom

#10. Olympic Mascots Lie Unwanted, Beijing, 2008 Summer Olympics

Nini, left, and Yingying, two of the five mascots for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, are seen lying among trees behind an abandoned, never-completed mall in Beijing.

Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Image

#11. Olympic Village, Berlin, 1936 Summer Olympics Venue

Deserted houses for the athletes in the former Olympic Village for the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.

Martin Sachse/Getty Images

#12. Olympic Flag Posts, Athens, 2004 Summer Olympics Venue

This is no art installation — they are rows upon rows of flag posts that, after the 2004 Summer Olympics, lost the purpose for which they were built.


#13. Soviet Venue, Tallinn, 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics Venue

An old Soviet venue built for the Moscow Olympics in the 1980s is greying and forgotten in Estonia.

Oh Brezhnev

#14. Olympic Village, Berlin, 1936 Summer Olympics Venue

This was the very first permanent Olympic village, and had quite a few impressive features: each house had its own steward and housed the first swimming pool ever at an Olympic village.


#15. Fountain In Olympic Village, Athens, 2004 Summer Olympics Venue

A fountain decorated with the Olympic rings and graffiti-defaced marble blocks dedicated to Greek Olympic medal winners is seen here totally dilapidated.

Thanassis Stavrakis/ AP

#16. Tennis Court, Atlanta, 1996 Summer Olympics Venue

The derelict netting and scoreboard in the background on a tennis court stand at the Stone Mountain Tennis Center, home of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games tennis events, in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

David Goldman/AP Photo

#17. Diving Pool, Athens, 2004 Summer Olympics Venue

A foot of dirty water sits at the bottom of the diving pool which formed part of the Olympic Aquatic Centre.

Oli Scarff

#18. Olympic Stadium Train Stop, Munich, 1972 Summer Olympics

Although much of the Munich Olympic Venue still stands today, the train station which received thousands of visitors back in the day is a barren wasteland of tumbleweed and grass.

Julian Neugebauer

#19. Kayaking Competition Venue, Beijing, 2008 Summer Olympics

The deserted and unmaintained former venue for the kayaking competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, can be seen on the outskirts of Beijing.

David Gray/Reuters

#20. Cinema In The Olympic Village, Mexico City, 1968 Summer Olympics

During the Games, the cinema hosted movie nights and other entertainment for the athletes.

Gary Hustwit