The Olympics are often seen as a connecting event, a gathering of shared disciplines and passions by hundreds of varying cultures and ethnicities from around the world. When political tensions and social turmoil drive wedges between nations, the Olympics bring individuals together of whom would not interact in any other platform. It is a time of joy, celebration, and union.
The cost to hold such a gargantuan event is a point of contention that is capable of muddying the waters of the squeaky clean gleeful image of the occasion. Many of the cities who have hosted the various contests had been plagued with debt due to the general necessities required to allow the athletes to compete. Stadiums, swimming pools, bike and bobsledding ramps and stands for the audience have all been built from the ground up. In conjunction with efforts to promote the activities through advertising, the amount spent often reached astronomical heights, numbers that raised questions from the hosted city’s locals as to how the money could have been applied for effectively. This is the case currently with the event in Rio de Janeiro, a country suffering with clear economic woes. At the moment, the estimated cost sits at around $4.6 billion. (Though the Sochi Winter Olympics finalized at a staggering $51 billion.)
When the dust settled on past Olympic proceedings, many of the infrastructures constructed to serve the events and the athletes remained, aging, abandoned, and mostly unused. In early August the Huffington posted a compilation of photos taken of the myriad of structures years after being left vacant. The images are ghostly, and evoke a response of contemplation. The collection spans over the cities of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Athens, Greece, Berlin, Turin, Italy, and Beijing, China.
Despite worldwide criticism, Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes remains assured that the Olympics were not intended to remedy the country’s economic plight; when speaking with the Los Angles Times, he is assertive: “We never said we’d solve all of Rio’s or Brazil’s problems. We said the Olympics would make progress on some problems.”
View the entire intriguing collection of photos here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/these-eerie-photos-show-the-ghosts-of-olympics-past_us_57ab407fe4b0ba7ed23e5988?section=women