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Faded glory: Neglected venues from Olympics past

As the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is shaping up to be a contender for the most expensive Games in history, here's a look back at some of the abandoned or under-utilized facilities from past Olympics.

The gate to the Olympic taekwondo and handball arena is locked in southern Athens, on Aug. 2, 2012. The purpose-built arena has been occasionally used for non-sporting events since the Athens 2004 Olympics. Many of the Olympic venues remain abandoned or rarely used, focusing public anger on past governments as the country struggles through recession and a debt crisis that has seen a surge in poverty and unemployment.

As the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is shaping up to be a contender for the most expensive Games in history, here's a look back at some of the abandoned or under-utilized facilities from past Olympics. Thanassis Stavrakis / AP
Weeds sprout in the remains of what was once the playing field at the abandoned Olympic softball venue in southern Athens, on Aug. 2, 2012. Thanassis Stavrakis / AP
Murky water and rubbish fill an abandoned training pool for athletes at the Olympic village on the northern fringes of Athens, on Aug. 2, 2012. After the Athens 2004 Games, the village was used as a worker housing project. Thanassis Stavrakis / AP
Seats are pictured at the rundwon Olympic hockey stadium in Athens on June 11, 2012. Greece has long been criticised over the paradox of spending excessive amounts of money for construction for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games venues and failing to utilize most of them after the completion of the Games. Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP - Getty Images
The podium at the ski jump from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics on Mount Igman, near Saravejo, on Sept. 19, 2013. Abandoned and left to crumble into oblivion, most of the 1984 Winter Olympic venues in Bosnia's capital Sarajavo have been reduced to rubble by neglect as much as the 1990s conflict that tore apart the former Yugoslavia. The bobsleigh and luge track at Mount Trebevic, the Mount Igman ski jumping course and accompanying objects are now decomposing into obscurity. Dado Ruvic / Reuters
The neglected bobsleigh track from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics is seen on Mount Trebevic, near Sarajevo on Sept. 19, 2013. The bobsleigh and luge track, which was also used for World Cup competitions after the Olympics, became a Bosnian-Serb artillery stronghold during the war and is nowadays a target of frequent vandalism. Dado Ruvic / Reuters
The neglected bobsleigh track from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics is seen on Mount Trebevic, near Saravejo, Bosnia, on Sept. 19, 2013. Dado Ruvic / Reuters
A woman walks past a security guard outside the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest," which was the venue for the athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing on March 23, 2012. The gigantic infrastructures built for the Beijing Olympics, namely the "Bird's Nest," and the National Aquatics Center, also known as the "Water Cube," are now used for cultural and sports events, reminding the world of the flare that blazed during the summer of 2008. However, some other Beijing Olympic venues, such as the rowing and kayaking centre, baseball arena and BMX track, are deserted or have been completely demolished. David Gray / Reuters
A car driven by a student of a driving school slowly moves around the carpark in front of the deserted 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the cycling competition in central Beijing on March 30, 2012. David Gray / Reuters
Coverings peel off the deserted 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition ldeserted in central Beijing on April 2, 2012. David Gray / Reuters