What happens to Olympics venues after the torch goes out?


Photo courtesy of WikiCommons

The former London Olympic Stadium is now being renovated as a field for the West Ham soccer team.

Marian Sahakyan, News Editor

Internet slideshows of Olympic venues in shabby states are pervasive. After short-term use, these pools, tracks and kayak centers end up abandoned to weeds, rust and graffiti.

While the Fisht Stadium in Sochi will return to the international stage for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the history of Olympic Stadium use post-games over the last 60 years has ranged from demolition to prominence to pure desolation. Here is a rundown of the last four stadiums, both Summer and Winter Olympics:

2014: Sochi, Russia – Brand-new in time to host 40,000 fans for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Fisht Stadium will transform over the next four years into one of Russia’s mass sites for the 2018 World Cup. According to Olympics.si.com Russia also hopes to turn the stadium into a national team training ground for future athletes.

2012: London, England – Specially built for the Olympics, London’s Olympic Stadium was temporary while officials held onto a different long-term plan for its use. The stadium closed down in 2013 and work started on downsizing and renovating it to open as a smaller, more manageable permanent home for the West Ham United soccer team in 2016 according to connectsports.com.

2010: Vancouver, Canada – The plans to reshape the venue in Vancouver did not take shape until 2012 – after the Olympics – when the venue was remodeled, complete with a retractable roof. Now the stadium is home to the Canada Football League’s BC Lions and Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps.

2008: Beijing, China – Beijing did not care much about “legacy” venues; instead it built the wow of the now. No building better represents that than the official Beijing national stadium, the Bird’s Nest. A major tourist destination since 2008, the venue has made lots of money and has hosted many concerts and exhibition sporting events.