Fascinating Photos of Abandoned Olympic Sites Around the World

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[Editor’s note: It’s Labor Day, so your devoted Flavorwire team is taking a break. To keep you entertained, we’re leaving you with our most popular features of the summer months. This post originally ran August 13th.] The Storefront for Art & Architecture, our favorite Little Italy-adjacent nonprofit organization, has organized a photo exhibition exploring the post-Olympic city. Answering the question, what happens to a city after the Olympics are gone, the show features The Olympic City project, an ongoing collaboration between photographer Jon Pack and indie filmmaker Gary Hustwit of Helvetica design docu fame.

As the show’s catalog states, “some former Olympic sites are retrofitted and used in ways that belie their grand beginnings; turned into prisons, housing, malls, gyms, churches. Others sit unused for decades and become tragic time capsules.” We’re as horrified as we are fascinated by the fact that billions of dollars are spent every two years only to see such a sad — sometimes bizarre — fate. From abandoned Olympic villages to crumbling public art commissions, click through to check out the very best of Olympic ruin porn. Then let us know in the comments what you think about such a temporary extravagance. Should cities re-think the Olympics? Will London’s flashy stadiums look like this one day?

2008 Beach Volleyball Stadium — Beijing, China

Image credit: David Gray via The Atlantic

2008 Kayaking Venue — Beijing, China

Image credit: David Gray via The Atlantic

2004 Olympic Sports Complex — Athens, Greece

Image credit: Jamie McGregor Smith via It’s Nice That

2004 Helliniko Olympic Softball Stadium — Athens, Greece

Image credit: Jamie McGregor Smith via It’s Nice That

1984 Luge and Bobsleigh Track — Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Image credit: Karen Barlow via cloudlessness

1984 Olympic Ski Jump Venue — Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Image credit: Karen Barlow via cloudlessness

1984 Winter Olympics Podium — Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Image credit: Jon Pack via <em>The Atlantic

1972 Olympic Stadium Train Station — Munich, Germany

Image credit: Twin City Photos

1968 “Route of Friendship” Olympic Public Art Project — Mexico City, Mexico

Image credit: Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit via The Olympic City Kickstarter

1952 Olympics Swimming Stadium — Lake Ahvenisto, Finland

Image credit: Höök

1936 Olympic Village — Elstal, Germany

Image credit: Abandoned Berlin

1932 Grand Olympic Auditorium — Los Angeles, California

Image credit: Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit via Futurecapetown; you-are-here