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These Eerie Photos Show The Ghosts Of Olympics Past

When the medals have all been won and the people leave, aging Olympics villages become otherworldly.

11/08/2016 2:19 AM AEST | Updated 11/08/2016 2:19 AM AEST
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ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images

Every few years, the world tunes in to watch the Olympic Games.

From Salt Lake City to London to Beijing, cities across the globe have played host to the illustrious games with hundreds of athletes anxiously vying for their spot in history. But with hosting comes great responsibility, and often new construction that takes years to complete. 

The construction, as we’ve seen, can involve destruction. It can also lead to athletic facilities becoming abandoned once the games are over. With many cities having no use for the elaborate luging slides or massive stadiums after the Olympics end, they become quiet and desolate monoliths.

Let’s take a walk through these lands of the long-gone glory days.

  • Sarajevo 1984
    Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    Downhill bikers Kemal Mulic (C), Tarik Hadzic (L) and Kamer Kolar train on the disused bobsled track from the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics on Trebevic mountain near Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Aug. 8, 2015.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    The disused bobsleigh track from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics is seen on Mount Trebevic, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    A view of the disused bobsleigh track from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics on Mount Trebevic, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • ELVIS BARUKCIC/AFP/Getty Images
    A picture taken on Feb. 5, 2014, shows Sarajevo's abandoned ski jumping venue at Mt. Igman.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    A view of the disused ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics on Mount Igman, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    A view of the disused ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics on Mount Igman in 2013.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    Downhill bikers Tarik Hadzic (L-R), Kemal Mulic and Kamer Kolar train on the disused bobsled track from the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics on Trebevic mountain, Aug. 8, 2015. 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.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    Downhill bikers Kemal Mulic (R-L), Tarik Hadzic and Kamer Kolar train on the disused bobsled track from the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics, Aug. 8, 2015.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    A view of the disused judges room for the ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    A view of the disused judges room for the ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics in 2013.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    A view of worn stone steps which lead to the disused ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics in 2013.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    Downhill bikers Kemal Mulic (L-R), Kamer Kolar and Tarik Hadzic train on the disused bobsled track from the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics in 2015.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    The disused bobsleigh track from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics is seen in 2013.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    A view of the derelict medals podium at the disused ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics in 2013.
  • Dado Ruvic / Reuters
    The logo of Winter Olympics in Sarajevo is seen on a tower near Zetra hall, the venue for the figure skating, in 2013.
  • Athens 2004
    Yannis Behrakis / Reuters
    A chair stands in a deserted swimming pool at the Olympic Village in the town of Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, in July 2014.
  • Yorgos Karahalis / Reuters
    The stands are seen at the abandoned Olympic Canoe and Kayak Slalom Centre at the Hellenikon complex in Athens, July 2014.
  • Yorgos Karahalis / Reuters
    The abandoned Canoe and Kayak Slalom Centre where competitions were held during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games is seen at the Hellenikon complex south of Athens, July 2014.
  • Yannis Behrakis / Reuters
    Garbage floats in a deserted swimming pool at the Olympic Village in Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, in July 2014.
  • Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
    The abandoned beach volleyball Olympic venue from the 2004 Athens Games is seen behind a broken window in Neo Faliro, southern Athens.
  • Petros Giannakouris/AP
    In this photo taken in July 2015, an abandoned stadium used for baseball events during the Athens Olympics is seen through weeds.
  • Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg/Getty Images
    An empty stadium seating stand is seen at the abandoned Olympic baseball field at the former Athens International Airport in the Hellenikon district of Athens, Greece, in December 2014.
  • Oli Scarff/Getty Images
    Unused flagposts stand in front of a litter-strewn water feature in the 2004 Olympic Games Complex in February 2012 in Athens, Greece.
  • Vladimir Rys/Getty Images
    An abandoned telephone cell is pictured at the Athens 2004 Olympic venue at the Hellenico Olympic park as seen in February 2011.
  • ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
    View of the disused Olympic canoe/kayak stadium in Athens on June 11, 2012. 
  • ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
    A view of the disused Olympic field hockey stadium in Athens on June 11, 2012.
  • Berlin 1936
    JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images
    View of the swimming pool in the 1936 Olympic village in Elstal, west of Berlin, on May 5, 2008.
  • JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images
    View of the swimming pool in the 1936 Olympic village in Elstal, west of Berlin, on May 5, 2008.
  • Montag/ullstein bild/Getty Images
    Deserted houses for the athletes in the former Olympic Village (Olympic Games 1936 in Berlin). Here, a wasted bathroom at the "Jesse Owens House."
  • Ritter/ullstein bild/Getty Images
    Deserted houses for the athletes in the former Olympic Village (Olympic Games 1936 in Berlin).
  • Montag/ullstein bild/Getty Images
    Deserted houses for the athletes in the former Olympic Village (Olympic Games 1936 in Berlin). 
  • Martin Sachse/ullstein bild/Getty Images
    Deserted houses for the athletes in the former Olympic Village (Olympic Games 1936 in Berlin). 
  • Martin Sachse/ullstein bild/Getty Images
    Deserted houses for the athletes in the former Olympic Village.
  • Martin Sachse/ullstein bild/Getty Images
    Deserted houses for the athletes in the former Olympic Village.
  • Martin Sachse/ullstein bild/Getty Images
    Deserted houses for the athletes in the former Olympic Village.
  • Martin Sachse/ullstein bild/Getty Images
    Deserted houses for the athletes in the former Olympic Village.
  • Beijing 2008
    David Gray / Reuters
    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, reminding the world of the flare that blazed during the summer of 2008. 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. 
  • David Gray / Reuters
    A security fence surrounds the deserted and unmaintained 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition in central Beijing, April 2, 2012. 
  • Turin 2006
    Alessandro Albert/Getty Images
    The ex-Olympic village built for the athletes of the Olympic Winter games is now abandoned on September 20, 2010, in Turin, Italy.
  • Alessandro Albert/Getty Images
    The ex-Olympic village built for the athletes of the Olympic Winter games is now abandoned, as seen on September 20, 2010, in Turin, Italy.
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