Olympic Grounds

Greece hosted the Olympic Games in 2004. And as usual plans were made, infrastructure was improved, a new suburb was created and architects had the opportunity of fulfilling their dreams and wishes. About 10bn Euros were invested in buildings and infrastructure.

And already in those days people in Greece were sceptical about the outcome and the question if this huge investment was worthwhile. And after the games, 10 years onwards not very much is left of the impressive architecture and the benefit that politicians promised their people. 

The Olympic buildings are not being maintained. When you walk the grounds where the games happened you find deserted buildings, weeds and decay. And you wonder why not even the attempt was made to maintain at least some of the sport grounds.

A whole velodrome is crumbling. Inside seats are waiting for visitors and spectators that never come. Swimming pools are full of water that nobody ever uses. Archery targets are rotting in the sun with weeds spreading all over the place. 

You wonder why these grounds are accessible at all. They don't give you an impression of the games, of the atmosphere and of competitions that athletes were striving for to win. This is decay and the symbol of a country that is struggling to survive. I was sad and angry when I left this place.