WASTE

Rio's Olympic Stadium in Ruins—Continuing Long Host Tradition

Just six months after the Olympics, Rio joins a long list of past hosts who have left venues to rot.

VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/Getty

VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/Getty

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Summer 2016

Though we are just six months removed from the summer 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, many of the structures built for the Games now lay abandoned and derelict. It's a tradition unfortunately repeated over the years and across the world after Olympians and the money they bring return back to their countries of origin.

This photograph is of the world-famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2017. After playing a key role in the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, hosted by Brazil, the iconic Maracana Stadium has fallen into a state of abandon due to a contract dispute, and is closed to tourists.

Nacho Doce / Reuters

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Summer 2016

An aerial view shows the Olympic park which was used for Rio 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil January 15, 2017.

VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/Getty

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Summer 2016

Partial view of the closed main gates to the world-famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2017.

Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina / Winter 1984

A view of the disused judges room for the ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics on Mount Igman, near Sarajevo September 19, 2013. Abandoned and left to crumble into oblivion, most of the 1984 Winter Olympic venues in Bosnia's capital Sarajevo have been reduced to rubble by neglect as much as the 1990s conflict that tore apart the former Yugoslavia. The bobsleigh and luge track at Mount Trebevic, the Mount Igman ski jumping course and accompanying objects are now decomposing into obscurity. The bobsleigh and luge track, which was also used for World Cup competitions after the Olympics, became a Bosnian-Serb artillery stronghold during the war and is nowadays a target of frequent vandalism. September 19, 2013.

Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina / Winter 1984

Downhill bikers Kemal Mulic (R-L), Tarik Hadzic and Kamer Kolar train on the disused bobsled track from the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics on Trebevic mountain near Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 8, 2015.

Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina / Winter 1984

A view of the derelict medals podium at the disused ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics on Mount Igman, near Sarajevo September 19, 2013.

Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina / Winter 1984

A view of the disused ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics on Mount Igman, near Sarajevo September 19, 2013.

Athanasios Gioumpasis

Berlin, Germany / Summer 1936

The swimming pool at the Olympic Village Berlin of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games on July 4, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The Olympic Village in Berlin of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, the Reich Sports Field, was designed by the brothers Werner and Walter March and was built in the years 1934-1936. During the games approximately 3600 athletes with coaches and staff stayed in the village.

Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty

Berlin, Germany / Summer 1936

The swimming pool at the Olympic Village Berlin of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games on July 4, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.

Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty

Berlin, Germany / Summer 1936

Athletes homes at the Olympic Village Berlin of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games on July 4, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.

Milos Bicanski/Getty

Athens, Greece / Summer 2004

General view of a swimming pool in the former Olympic Village in Athens, Greece on July 31, 2014.The cost of hosting the games was estimated to be approximately 9 billion euros with the majority of sporting venues built specifically for the games. Due to Greece's economic frailties post Olympic Games there has been no further investment and the majority of the newly constructed stadiums now lie abandoned.

Milos Bicanski/Getty

Athens, Greece / Summer 2004

General view of derelict stands at the Olympic Baseball Stadium at the Helliniko Olympic complex in Athens, Greece on July 31, 2014.

Milos Bicanski/Getty

Athens, Greece / Summer 2004

General view of the Olympic Aquatic Center in Athens, Greece on July 31, 2014.

GREG BAKER/Getty

Beijing, China / Summer 2008

This photo taken on July 26, 2016 shows Huanhuan, one of five mascots for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, lying amongst trees behind an abandoned, never-completed mall in Beijing. Photographed weeks before the 2016 Olympics open in Rio, the fallen mascots are a reminder of the high costs of hosting the event. Their derelict state reflects the challenges that China has faced in finding new uses for its Olympic investments, with many venues falling into disrepair and some construction projects left incomplete.

David Gray / Reuters

Beijing, China / Summer 2008

The deserted and unmaintained former venue for the kayaking competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, can be seen on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012.

David Gray / Reuters

Beijing, China / Summer 2008

The 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition lies deserted and unmaintained in central Beijing April 2, 2012. The gigantic infrastructures built for the Beijing Olympics, namely the National Stadium, better known as the "Bird's Nest", and the National Aquatics Center, better known as the "Water Cube", are now used for cultural and sports events. However, some other Beijing Olympic venues, such as the rowing and kayaking centre, baseball arena and BMX track, have been left either deserted or been completely demolished.