8 Amazing Olympic Villages and Venues You Can Visit Right Now

8 Amazing Olympic Villages and Venues You Can Visit Right Now

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Here's a quick list of eight Olympic Villages and venues that you can still (and should) visit today. History always has the last word.

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    Ringing in as the first location for the Winter Olympics outside of Europe or the U.S., the 1972Sapporo Olympics have left a few reminders in their place. One such spot is the Okurayama Jump Hill, a high-reaching large jump ski hill that was also used in 2007 for the FIS World Ski Championships. Aside from the ski jump, you can also check out the Winter Sports Museum, Okurayama Crystal House, and the Mt. Okura Observation Platform.
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    You may not be able to go to Yugoslavia anymore -- the country's six republics dissolved into separate countries starting in 1991 -- but you can visit the crumbling sites of the 1984 Olympics in the city of Sarajevo. Since the 1984 Winter Olympics, several of the Sarajevo competition sites have been fully forgotten, leaving us with picture-perfect spots of their almost-distant memories.
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    The National Stadium was originally designed as one of the 31 venues built for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Resembling a modern art take on a bird nest and is the aesthetic design product of several architects, as well as controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The structure is primarily used as a soccer stadium, but (lucky for us) it is also open to the public.Fun fact: this stadium will have a second life for Olympic use during the 2022 Winter Olympics.
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    Rome's first bid win was to host the 1908 Summer Olympics, but, thanks to the 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the Italian capital was forced to pass the torch to London. Finally, 52 years later, the Eternal City was given another chance with the 1960 Summer Olympics. With only a handful of new venues purpose-built for the games, several of Rome's historic structures were either renovated or used as-is for the big event.
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    The 1936 Berlin games hold a dark significance as they were held during Nazi rule of Germany, and subsequently Jews were prohibited in participating. Not to be outdone by the 1932 games held in Los Angeles, they poured an undisclosed amount of money into building a new stadium and six gyms. Though the space has undergone many renovations and purposes, including a Soviet military camp and hospital, it's never been fully restored.
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    For traveling history buffs that really want to get O.G., you can take a visit to the first-ever Olympic stadium in history -- though you might recognize it from the 2004 games in Athens, too. Built way back in 330 B.C., Athens' Panathenaic Stadium was a staple arena for the Panatheniac Games, before being rebuilt in marble in 144 B.C., and then neglected once Christianity popularized in the 4th century.
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    Occupying some prime waterfront property along the Port Olympic Marina seaside, Barcelona's 1992 Olympic Village is hard to miss. Not only does it boast the two tallest towers in Spain, stretching 503 feet up into the skyline, but it's also got the iconic "Peix" sculpture, by architect and artist Frank Gehry. This massive golden-scaled fish rests in front of the Hotel Arts and, though sedentary, looks as if it could wiggle off and jump into the Mediterranean at any moment.
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    Vancouver, Canada hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Around 3,000 athletes were housed in the 1,000-unit structure that now serves as a space for housing, retail, and a 45,000-square-foot community center. The whopping one-million-square-foot structure consists mostly of steel, giving it an upscale, modern look. It's also one of the greenest buildings in the world, utilizing solar heating and green roof practices, among other innovative initiatives.
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