PyeongChang 2018

These Abandoned Olympic Venues Prove the Games Are a Giant Waste of Money

credit: getty images/getty images News/Giles Clarke/Contributor

Hosting the Olympics means footing the bill for the world's biggest sporting event and living with the consequences for a generation. Beijing spent $40 billion to play host in 2008, only to see many of its venues languish. The $51 billion bill Russia footed for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi had fleeting returns at best; its once-gleaming Olympic park quickly became a ghost town after the Games. And don't forget Rio -- the city's high hopes for its stadiums dashed when the international spotlight packed up and left after the 2016 Sumer Games. 

PyeongChang's $13 billion expense to host this year's Winter Olympics might seem frugal in light of the gargantuan bids from the recent past. But photos of former Olympic venues in their current states show what the future might have in store when the dust settles in South Korea.

credit: getty images/getty images sport/Buda Mendes/Staff

Aquatic Center

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
2016 Summer Olympics

Ski Jump Tower

Cortina D'ampezzo, Italy 
1956 Winter Olympics

Bobsled Track

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1984 Winter Olympics

credit: getty images/getty images sport/Milos Bicanski/Stringer

Baseball Stadium

Athens, Greece
2004 Summer Olympics 

credit: getty images/getty images News/Giles Clarke/Contributor

Olympic Village

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1984 Winter Olympics

credit: getty images/getty images News/Giles Clarke/Contributor

Ski Jump Tower

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1984 Winter Olympics 

Beach Volleyball Venue

Beijing, China
2008 Summer Olympics

Main Swimming Pool

Athens, Greece
2004 Summer Olympics

Swimming Pool 

Berlin, Germany
1936 Summer Olympics

Olympic Sports Complex

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1984 Winter Olympics

credit: getty images/afp/ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/Stringer

Training Pool 

Athens, Greece 
2004 Summer Olympics 

Ski Jumping Tower

Grenoble, France
1968 Winter Olympics

credit: getty images/afp/LEON NEAL/Staff

Central Stadium 

Sochi, Russia
2014 Winter Olympics 

Canoe and Kayak Slalom Center

Athens, Greece
2004 Summer Olympics

credit: getty images/afp/ELVIS BARUKCIC/Stringer

Bobsled Track

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovenia 
1984 Winter Olympics 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.