The venues that once dazzled audiences during the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro have now fallen into disrepair.
Just six months after the summer games, CNN reports that the Maracanã Stadium, which was initially renovated for the 2014 World Cup, has been abandoned. Dried, brown turf has replaced the tourists and soccer fans. Photos show thousands of seats have been ripped out and (if not completely stolen) left in a pile on the stadium floor.
The power at the stadium has been shut off as the Rio state government and Olympic organizers continue to fight over $1 million in unpaid electricity bills, according to CNN—and vandalism and violent robberies have reportedly swept the area surrounding venues.
“There are things that you can see on the surface that are damaged, like the grass and the seats. However, what we are most concerned about is the safety of the people who are coming to Maracanã and we need to make sure things, like the stadium’s roof, weren’t compromised,” Daelcio de Freitas said of the stadium, according to CNN. Freitas is a spokesman for Maracanã SA, an organization that is responsible for the stadium’s upkeep.
Water in one Olympic practice pool has turned orange, while a neighboring building sports tattered tapestries the Brazilian artist Adriana Varejao created. Panels appear to be falling off the structure. Photos also show water in the Olympic Aquatic Center has been drained—leaving a murky, stagnant alternative in its place.
Rio’s Favelas have only made matters worse: The slums that overlook the Olympic village were supposed to be cleaned before the games, but according to Gizmodo, sewage and feces flow through the streets in “small rivers.”
As shocking as it may be to see a vibrant Olympic Park reduced to a desolate ghost town, the country is unlikely to fix the venues any time soon. Brazil is in the middle of the worst recession in the country’s recent history, something it hoped to start turning around after Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment in August 2016. Rousseff, who was the country’s first woman president, was charged for manipulating the federal budget in order to hide the nation’s escalating economic problems. Additionally, the country is still grappling with its Zika epidemic.
Rio isn’t the only city to see venues decay after spending billions on Olympic construction: Venues in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia from the 1984 Winter games and Athens, Greece from the 2004 Summer games have resulted in similar fates.
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