What The World’s Former Olympic Sites Looked Like After We Abandoned Them

Published April 17, 2017
Updated March 13, 2019
Abandoned Olympic Sites Aquatic Stadium
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What The World’s Former Olympic Sites Looked Like After We Abandoned Them
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A great deal of preparation and construction go into hosting the Olympic Games -- but in many instances, the structures built only await dilapidation following the events' close.

Given the competition, cost, and sacrifices involved in creating and preparing spaces for the elite athletic ritual, the sight of since-abandoned Olympic villages often leaves viewers feeling a bit gutted. The photos above -- solemn, sparse images of elaborate sites succumbing to nature -- call the motivations of Olympic host cities into question, as well as the long-term value of the spectacles we observe every other year.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.