With the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympics, we are taking a look back at some of the host Olympic cities, the modern day use of their facilities and the legacy the games leave behind for the next generation:
The site of the Berlin Olympics is steeped in history. The Olympiastadion was built by the Nazis for propaganda purposes and including a special stand for Adolf Hitler to watch the games. This was the first Olympics to be televised. Among the most memorable moments was the performance by Jesse Owens (representing the USA), winning an impressive 4 gold medals in track and field events.
After a renovation in 2004, the stadium is now occupied by Hertha Berlin football club.
The LA84 Foundation is a shining example of what Olympic legacies should aim to achieve. The foundation has invested $220m into Southern California youth sports, including $103m in direct grants. The grants have benefitted 3 million young people, 1100 sporting organisations and trained 80,000 sports coaches.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is now the home stadium to Trojans (USC) American football team.
Who can forget the opening ceremony with the spectacular flaming arrow flying through the air and lighting the cauldron. While the last sporting event was held here in 2010, the stadium is regularly used for large concerts - Beyonce, Coldplay and One Direction to name a few. Entry into the stadium is free, but there is a small fee to run around the track.
The Sydney Olympics were so successful in terms of organisation and sportsmanship that the London 2012 bid was based on the achievements of Sydney. The estimated cost of the games was close to $6.6billion, but received universal acclaim. The Sydney Olympic Park facilities have allowed the city to attract major convention, exhibition and entertainment events, including the Rugby World Cup and World Masters Games.
While the purpose built rowing and kayaking centre, BMX track and baseball arena have either been demolished or deserted, the iconic Bird’s Nest remains open for sporting events and tours. The site will also hold the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
London always promised to provide an Olympic legacy. West Ham football club now reside in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (London Stadium), local schools hold swimming lessons in the Aquatics Centre and the Olympic Village, where the athletes stayed while competing, is now filled with permanent residents.
After the success of the London 2012 Olympics, UK Sport boosted funding to medal-winning sports by £350m. No doubt this helped Team GB to record their highest ever rank at an Olympics, a very impressive second place on the medal tally board.
And to the future…
Now the Olympic flag has been handed to Tokyo, the world gets ready for the most high tech Olympics ever. Is anyone else hoping they invent a robot to light the Olympic flame?
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