A look at what has happened to Olympic venues after the Games (+photos)
After the 1996 games, the stadium was converted into Turner Field, the baseball stadium that's been home to the Atlanta Braves for the past several years. But in November, the team announced plans to build a new stadium in the city's northwest suburbs and leave Turner Field in 2017. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said that Turner Field would be demolished after their departure.
Less than two miles north of the stadium, in the city's downtown area, Centennial Olympic Park was used for some of the ceremonies during the Atlanta games. The park remains a popular destination for residents and tourists, particularly in the warmer months. Every summer, children still splash in a large fountain that incorporates the Olympic rings in its design.
Other venues from the 1996 games have seen creative uses — including one of the first "running of the bulls" events in the U.S., inspired by the famed festival tradition in Pamplona, Spain.
The 1992 Olympic Games launched Barcelona as a major tourist attraction, converting it into what it is today — a must-see destination in Spain attracting millions of visitors a year. The city benefited greatly from the smash-hit song "Barcelona," Freddy Mercury's collaboration with Barcelona-born soprano Montserrat Caballe.
The games left Barcelona an important architectural legacy, much of which is still in use, including Palau Sant Jordi which today is a large-scale music venue, and the Olympic Stadium, which was used for years by soccer team Espanyol and still hosts sports competitions.
The 1992 Games cost some 6.7 million euros and generated a profit of about 12 million euros, and completely changed Barcelona's appearance by opening new vistas to the seafront and creating ring roads that have greatly benefited the city.
The Olympic Village, which hosted athletes from around the world, today is home to city dwellers who still recall what they refer to as "that magical 1992."
Wartime destruction and negligence have turned most of Sarajevo's 1984 Winter Olympic venues into painful reminders of the city's golden times.
The world came together in the former Yugoslavia in 1984 after the West had boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and Russia boycotted the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Just eight years later, the bobsleigh and luge track on Mount Trbevic was turned into an artillery position from which Bosnian Serbs pounded the city for almost four years.
Today, the abandoned concrete construction looks like a skeleton littered with graffiti. The elderly avoid it to keep it in their memories as it was — gloriously illuminated and visible from downtown.
Other Olympic mountains around Sarajevo had turned into battlegrounds during the 1992-95 Bosnian war that took 100,000 lives. Afterward, most of them were left dotted with land mines.
The two ski jumping hills on Mount Igman were never used again and became a surreal backdrop during the war when United Nations armored vehicles rolled pass them.
The hall where British ice dancing duo Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean gave a legendary Bolero performance that won the first, and so far only, perfect 6s in Olympic history, now lies next to a sea of white tombstones.
AP writers Raphael Satter in London, Rob Gillies in Toronto, Elena Becatoros in Athens, Didi Tang in Beijing, Jeff Martin in Atlanta, Ga., Jim Armstrong in Tokyo, Harold Heckle in Madrid, Aida Cerkez in Sarajevo, and Kristen Gelineau in Sydney contributed to this report.
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