As much as we're enjoying the Sochi Games so far, it's hard not to wonder: what's a sub-tropical Russian resort town going to do with a speed skating oval after the Olympics are over? The short answer? According to many analysts, basically nothing.
Turns out that's a common fate for Olympic venues around the world. Some are cleverly reused, as in the case of London and Vancouver, which are both building community centres — and entire communities — where previously there were none. Other cities rely on local sports teams to reuse venues: in Atlanta, for example, the Braves moved into Centennial Olympic Stadium, later renamed Turner Field, just as the Expos moved into the Olympic Stadium in Montreal after the 1976 Games. And in many cases, Olympic Villages become relatively affordable apartments.
But the afterlives of Olympic venues aren't always as successful. In some former host cities, the venues stand as memorials to bad decisions — on the part of the IOC, host city organizers and various levels of local government. And in more extreme cases, they stand as memorials to hope and national pride that vanished in the face of conflict or financial ruin.
The Olympic City is a project by photographer Jon Pack and filmmaker Gary Hustwit in which they attempt to document the state of former Olympic venues around the world. As the authors state on the project's website: "We’re interested in these disparate ideas — decay and rebirth — and how each site seems to have gone one way or the other, either by choice or circumstance. We’re equally interested in the lives of the people whose neighborhoods have been transformed by Olympic development."
They just published a book of their work, but the project is ongoing. Pack and Hustwit plan on visiting every host city and documenting the state of every still-existing host venue. In the gallery above, you'll find 10 of their favourite images.