Friday, August 15, 2014

Athens Olympic site over taken by weeds, 10 years on

Last night we came across this article and this one, which show some images depicting how the economic situation in Greece has effected much of the infrastructure that was purpose built for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

The Olympic Aquatic Centre in Athens. Source: Getty Images

As Greece groans under a cruel economic depression, questions linger as to whether the Athens Games were too ambitious an undertaking for a weak economy. While economists agree it would be unfair to blame Greece’s meltdown on the 17-day Games, the post-Olympic era is seen as a decade of lost opportunities — including failure to significantly boost the country’s sporting culture. It’s a lesson to which Brazil may pay heed, as it races to complete projects ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“We didn’t take advantage of this dynamic that we got in 2004,” said former Olympic weightlifting champion Pyrros Dimas, a Greek sporting hero-turned-Socialist member of Parliament.

“We simply made the biggest mistake in our history: We switched off, locked up the stadiums, let them fall to pieces, and everything finished there." source article, see links above.

The view outside the Olympic Stadium in Athens. Source: Getty Images

A sad reality, and a very expensive legacy that has now been left behind as these once filled arenas of sporting triumph are left to riot. With the upcoming 2016 games to be held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, we have to hope that they have through plans in place for what they intend to do with their venues after completion of the games. The Brazilians have already been heavily criticised both globally and from within Brazil for the problems in getting the stadiums finished in time for the World Cup 2014. However at least in this case, the venues should be used in this football mad country. We will have to see what the Olympic venues of Rio looks like after 10 years?

The view outside the Olympic Stadium in Athens. Source: Getty Images