By Keith Flamer/
After the Olympics, what happens when the world turns the spotlight off? For Rio and Athens, darkness. The Olympic dream morphed into a nightmare overnight. Brazil and Greece splurged on Olympics they couldn’t afford, their political systems are chaotic, and local neighborhoods, which were to benefit from the Games, did not. We’ve heard this story before.
We expect ruins in Athens, but Rio too? Both cities are afflicted by modern, multimillion-dollar Olympic stadiums and villages that are derelict post-Games—abandoned, looted or trashed. And Rio’s Olympic flame was extinguished only six months ago.
Call it the Olympic curse—desperate host overreach and poor post-Games planning in what was supposed to be Rio’s (2016) and Athens’ (2004) crowning glory, a world celebration of these cities via sports. However, when world-class athletes left Rio and Athens, so did the Olympic spirit—leaving behind empty arenas, polluted aquatic centers, overgrown fields, dried-out golf greens, rusty stadiums, flimsy façades, and trash dumps in some areas.