Sunday, June 12, 2011

From Olympic grandeur to urban blight - How Olympic stadiums fair post an Olympic games!

The Athens Olympic complex among other Olympic stadiums have no exit strategy and thus urban blight becomes their legacy. Austerity measures in Greece will not help this pool either.
The Chinese had to turn the Water Cube into a water park and the pool therein is now simply a museum relic still in place just to be gawked at.

Plato once said: That which is owned by all is cared for by none. SCAQ once tried to book a swim meet in the Water Cube and the Chinese government just froze up. They had no clue how to leverage the swimming pool for profit and/or to justify it's existence with serious swimmers.

Though the Athens facility has an empty dive pool, broken stadium seats, graffiti on it's walls, the swimming pool is stilled filled and utilized by the community at large and I would love to swim there. In fact, I would love to participate in a swim meet in just about any Olympic stadium: Athens, Beijing, Munich, Los Angeles, and of course London, Tokyo, and Moscow. These pool managers really should consider booking "Swim Tours" or perhaps a aspiring capitalist with travel industry experience should consider this?

From the BBC:

Other cities have had much more difficulty putting Olympic buildings to good use – or any use at all. In Athens, host of the 2004 Games, many Olympic venues have been abandoned. Some have even been vandalized. This picture of a graffiti laden swimming pool is part of a Getty Images slide show by photographer Matt Cardy of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex seven years after the Games.

A few host cities have reconstituted Olympic spaces into public works projects. For example, Lake Placid in New York state, host of the 1980 Winter Olympics, turned its Olympic Village into a men’s prison, as explained in Mental Floss Magazine.



Jim said...

Atlanta has has done an outstanding job of converting it's Olympic facilities into useful spaces. The pool is now enclosed and used by GeorgIa Tech and Atlanta for area meets. It's even hosted the NCAA Short Course NatIonals and numerous age group meets.

The Olympic Park and Olympic Statium (now Turner Field) are also centers if activity.

Anonymous said...

I StumbledUpon your blog today, everything I've read so far has been great. I've been a swimmer since I was 3 and have the opportunity to go to Athens this summer for 3+ weeks for my Classics major before I graduate from undergrad. It will be the first time to Europe and my first Olympic pool I've seen in person - hopefully not the last. I look forward to reading more about the swimming world from you.