A Greek tragedy: shocking images show eerie remains of Greece’s modern ruins as Olympic canoeing venue built for £6 billion 2004 games is left to rot
Few Greeks will deny the glory of bringing the Olympics back to where it all began, but what happened after the athletes went home from the 2004 Games?
These shocking images show the abandoned remains of an Olympic kayak and canoeing venue built for the 2004 Games in Greece, Athens.
Where once the Olympic flame burned bright, now the eerie ruins of the 7,600 seat stadium are all that remain, serving as a poignant reminder of the legacy it left behind.
Located in the Hellinicon Olympic Complex in Greece, Athens, the venue once hosted the canoe slalom events for the Greek Olympic Games – which was estimated to cost the nation €9 billion.
It was comprised of a competition course, a training run, and a natural warm-up lake, all of which were surrounded by thousands of seats where the public could watch Olympic stars compete.
The course now lies in a state of disuse, with the course drained, and the country struggling through a seven year depression, raising questions how the nation has benefited from the multi-billion-euro event.
The astonishing pictures were taken by Ioanna Sakellaraki, 25, a photographer from Athens who took the series of images while exploring the Olympic sports complexes in 2013 – a decade after the Games took place.
She said: “As the particular sports were not popular enough after the Games, the venues were left unused until they gradually ended up in complete decay.
“Few of the other venues had better luck, but in a general context, there was no proper planning with concrete solutions concerning the venues after the Games, so they easily ended up neglected and unused.”
However, Ioanna, who now studies and works in Brussels, Belgium, still thinks Greece benefited from the Games, despite the shocking reality her pictures reveal.
She said: “During the Olympic Games, a huge infrastructural pattern including the Athens Tram Line, the venues within the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (OAKA), and the sports complexes in Faliro and Helliniko were developed.
“Moreover, the Karaiskaki Stadium for football, Helliniko Olympic Basketball Arena and the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex (site of the taekwondo, handball, indoor volleyball, and beach volleyball venues) were constructed at the same time.
“According to reports, the overall net economic benefit of the games for Greece was positive even if the post-Olympics planning was not successful enough to make the use of all the sport venues manageable.”