This weekend marks the official opening of the 2016 Rio Olympics. The summer games are the most prestigious in the world and only 19 countries have had the privilege of hosting them.
Since it became a global event, several countries have hosted multiple times. Incidentally, it is the US that has hosted most times, not Greece where the games originated.
However, the burden for host cities, especially for not so rich countries, is too much that suggestions are now being made to make Athens the permanent home of the games.
Countries spend billions of dollars for the month long event, but the venues do not find much use after that. In 2004 for example, Greece spent more than £7billion (Sh932 billion) to host the games.
Now, 12 years later, the state-of-the-art sports venues in the Olympics’ spiritual home of Athens lie empty, completely unused and decaying. The country’s financial crisis has not helped the situation.
Here are some of those venues.
The beach volleyball center
The practice courts outside the stadium
The Olympic Village is Now a Ghost Town
The original plan was to turn it into public housing after the games
Thousands of families applied to move in
But it all went wrong
A school that authorities promised to build was never constructed, and a bunch of businesses left the area after the Olympics
By 2011 half the complex had been abandoned
Copper piping and other things of even remote value were stolen
The entrance has now been blocked
The softball stadium is a weed patch
Nobody plays softball in Greece
Some venues are maintained by the government, but there’s just no use for them.
The baseball stadium has also grown wild
The “batter’s eye,” which helped hitters see the pitch in 2004, now just flaps in the breeze
The Canoe/Kayak Slalom Center was once a world-class venue
It was the first Olympic venue to be filled with salt water instead of fresh water
There’s now standing water around the venue
The stands look like ruins
This massive scoreboard was used for just two weeks
The nearby rowing center still gets some use, but the scoreboard is toast
A practice pool at the Aquatic Center has been drained
The field hockey arena hasn’t been touched
The scoreboard is empty