Olympic Sports Complex Of Athens

September 28th 2023 in Explore
Olympic Sports Complex Of Athens

Olympic Stadium of Athens,

Once in the world's spotlight, the complex is now mostly abandoned and deserted.

The Athens Olympic Sports Complex, now called OAKA, was first constructed in the 1980s. It underwent a significant renovation by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava for the 2004 Summer Olympics. Calatrava's signature stle is evident in the stunning and elegant design of the OAKA. However, the complex is currently in a state of neglect and disrepair.

Calatrava drew inspiration from Athens' Acropolis and Byzantine stles for his impressive work on OAKA, which had a price tag of over $10 million. Some areas of OAKA are still being utilized, primarily by community sports leagues. After 2004, certain sections were repurposed for worker housing. The previous communication centre now houses government ministry offices, while the badminton hall has been transformed into a theatre venue.

The Olympic Stadium of Athens, also called the "Spiros Louis," is often utilized as a concert venue due to its size. Since 2004, famous artists such as Madonna, Bon Jovi, and U2 have performed there.

Two streets in the complex are named after Greek Olympic medalists who were disgraced. Konstantinos Kenteris, who withdrew from the 2004 games after failing to take a doping test (he claimed he missed the test due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, but an official investigation later proved the accident was staged), and Fani Halkia, who tested positive for methyltrienolone in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was banned.

Although open to visitors, the entire complex appears empty and needs to be addressed. You might be the only one exploring the area. The grand arches of the velodrome stand out in contrast to the deteriorated pools, damaged fountains, and abandoned stadiums that cover an extensive 96-hectare space. It's astonishing to witness how a project of this magnitude could disintegrate in less than ten years.

The fate of OAKA is similar to other Olympic stadiums that have been abandoned. People who have visited other past Olympic stadiums may notice similarities, such as Barcelona's 1992 Olympic Stadium, which is only partially used today. Interestingly, this site is where Santiago Calatrava gained fame for designing the telecommunications tower. Like Calatrava's Olympic complex in Athens, the tower in Barcelona is mainly forgotten and only remembered by those who visited during the games and a few who see it today.