COUNTRIES spend fortunes preparing for Olympics.
And when the show’s over, what often gets left behind isn’t a pretty picture.
But these stunning images from past Winter and Summer Games showing the derelict ruins from the likes of Berlin 1936, Sarajevo 1984 and Turin 2006 have to be seen to be believed.
In February, 1984, Sarajevo, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, played host to the Winter Games.
However, most of the venues were destroyed during Bosnia’s war from 1992-1995 and were never rebuilt.
This included a disused ski jump, Olympic accommodation for athletes and a hotel left in ruins.
Worse still, a podium from that Winter Olympics was used 10 years later as a place of execution for Bosnian Muslims and a hotel was turned into a prison.
In the second Winter Games to be held in Italy, it was the Germans who were the most successful and remembered.
But what was the Olympic village in Bardonecchia, where their athletes relaxed and enjoyed downtime, is now a refugee camp.
Over 1000 migrants now live in the homes, according to reports, and the living conditions are said to be extremely poor.
The notorious Summer Games in Germany, which was under Nazi rule at the time, has left nasty scars of that time with its abandoned sports venues.
Halls which housed athletes were later used as barracks for the German army, and then Russian officers resided there from 1945.
Swimming pools and other areas of the House of Nations have also been left to rot.
It’s amazing what can happen in 10 years, especially in a country that prides itself on its infrastructure.
Beijing 2008 was believed to have cost $50 billion and it was a memorable Games.
However, a former course for the kayaking competition has been left deserted and unmaintained.
A beach that was built for volleyball is disused and dilapidated, and the baseball park has also seen better days.
The saddest legacy left behind from the 1996 Summer Olympic Games still sits unused and looks in a very sorry state.
Herndon Stadium hosted the field hockey but had been left gutted by vandals and is covered in graffiti and piles of trash today.
It’s disrepair is the result of financial difficulties experienced by the school, Morris Brown College, which campus it sits on.
Greece spent $12 billion bringing the Olympics home, but since its economic frailties post-2004 there has been no further investment in these stadiums.
Rotting softball and baseball venues are just some of the eyesores.
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO 1956
Still a popular ski resort in northern Italy, Cortina d’Ampezzo 1956 was dominated by the Soviet Union which won seven gold medals.
The Ice Stadium, the Eugenio Monti bobsleigh run and the disused ski jump Trampolino Olimpico Italia were prime areas where events took place.
The latter has aged well and there’s a plush lawn underneath where skiers would land their jumps.
However, the ramp does look like it dates back to the 1950s and it appears to be completely frozen in time.
This article was originally published by The Sun and reproduced with permission.