10 Years Later - Abandoned Olympic Venues in Athens

By: APTN / NBC News Channel
By: APTN / NBC News Channel
Greece continues to reel from an extended economic crisis on the tenth anniversary of the Athens summer games.

The Olympic beach volleyball lies abandoned in southern Athens, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. The purpose-built stadium has seen minimal use _ mostly for concerts _ since the Athens 2004 Olympics. Eight years after the Athens Games, many of the venues remain abandoned or rarely used, focusing public anger on past governments as the country struggles through a fifth year of recession and a debt crisis that has seen a surge in poverty and unemployment. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Greece continues to reel from an extended economic crisis on the tenth anniversary of the Athens summer games.

Most economists agree that it would be unfair to blame high unemployment, slashed incomes and the violent overhaul of the country's economy on the 17 day games.

But other economists lament the post-Olympic era as a decade of lost opportunities.

The games left behind a mixed legacy.

There was a new subway and airport and other infrastructure improvements that have improved the lives of Athens citizens.

At the same time, the Olympics left behind decaying sports venues that lie abandoned after the games.

Barbed wire guards the beach volleyball venue.

Other venues are strewn with garbage.

In the Olympic village, debris floats in a training pool. The place is overgrown with weeds.

The Athens games cost Greece nearly nine billion dollars, double the initial cost.

Many believe those funds were squandered. Several reports are investigating the economic impact of the games.

The findings will be released by the end of the year.


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