Russia prepares to host it's first ever Olympic Games in Sochi beginning with the official opening ceremony this Friday. What happens after the 23rd of February when all of the medals have been received and every fan has basked vicariously in the glory of the home heroes?
Billions are spent to construct an Olympic Village and billions more are spent after the games to either repurpose the park or maintain it as a training facility.
The 2012 Olympic Games in London left a beautiful, but sadly unused park. Dennis Hone, the chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation has a plan. London's Olympic park is being developed in to a hub of shopping, parks, trails, waterways and more than 8,000 new homes.
The city of Beijing got it horribly wrong after the Summer games in 2008. The beautiful "Bird's Nest" sits abandoned and decayed as well as the "Water Cube," the massive aquatic center. The eerie empty buildings sit sadly amidst the smog and other ghost-cities; urban developments that have been created in advance of inevitable overpopulation in Beijing.
The expense for Russia to maintain the facility after the games is more than $2 billion US dollars per year. The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev released a statement on a government website Friday urging government officials and some of the wealthier citizens to enact a plan for the future of the park. Ideas include a cycling track, a shopping mall and an event center but those do not take in to consideration the new roads and public areas that will also need maintenance.