Athens 2004 sporting venues…How they look like 10 years after the games.


Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games would be marking its tenth anniversary this month. I remembered that its opening ceremony was the first opening ceremony I have ever watched that eventually leads to me having interest to watch opening or closing ceremonies of any major sporting events onward. Of course, it has been ten years already. I was only 13 that time. Hence, it’s normal for not remembering anything much from that games when the Olympics is brought back to its home as the host. But what happened to the Athens 2004 sporting venues in the present, 10 years after the games? Well, check out the images below and you would be shocked.

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(Original source for the images above: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/olympics/28693970)

More images here: http://www.businessinsider.com/2004-athens-olympics-venues-abandoned-today-photos-2012-8?IR=T&op=1.

That’s how the sporting venues of the successful Athens 2004 games look like now. Abandoned, not maintained well, and left in emptiness and disuse. Act of vandalism, rubbish everywhere, pool dries up, overgrown with plants, etc. Hmm…definitely not a pleasing sight. These venues or stadiums were once in glorious state where many thousand of spectators entered to watch amazing sporting activities during the run of the world’s largest international multi-sport event, the Summer Olympic Games for its 28th edition in Athens, Greece. These venues were once the spotlights of the games. A symbol of how successful the games is. An icon of how well the city has prepared to host the games.

Now, almost all the venues have turned into ‘white elephants’. An eye-sore. Now, they are a symbol of how poor the Olympics legacy has turned out to be for Athens. After the games, the city does not need huge and various sporting venues anymore. It may turned out that the authority doesn’t even find it necessary to maintain these places anymore as it will costs a lot too by just doing that. These venues have also reminded future games’ organizers to really study the feasibility of the games’ effect on the city. Athens 2004’s venues served as a serious reminder to that.

I guess only very few other venues are still in good condition, and that includes the main Olympic Stadium that once hosted the athletic events and also the opening and closing ceremonies of Athens 2004.

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(Original source of image above: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/)

Fortunately by now, many have adopted the ideas of reducing stadium’s size, having certain venues just as temporary structures which would be removed after the games, etc. That will make the games cost-effective, sustainable and not burdening to the city in post-games era. London 2012 sets a benchmark for this kind of achievement. I strongly agreed to these solutions. Besides that, the cost of organizing huge-scaled games like this is escalating year by year. More cities nowadays aren’t that interested to host major games anymore as they really costs a lot and will be a huge burden to the country’s finance despite some benefits it will bring like fame to the country and also job opportunities. It’s time to tone it down, but still the organizer has to find effort or innovative ways to make the games memorable.

Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 (the two coming hosts for the Summer Olympic Games particularly) have to take this as a lesson to make their games truly effective, efficient and successful.

 

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