The diving pool is green. The housing is terrible. All of Team Russia is doping. What about Zika? Yes, yes we all know that Rio has done some things wrong (but, seriously, what Olympic host hasn’t?) and people were concerned that the games would even get cancelled. This happened with Sochi and Beijing too. The world questions if the host city can handle the Olympic burden and after a lot of complaining, people get over it. But after the glamour of the games and the host city being showcased on the world stage, what happens with all those state of the art Olympic venues? Nothing.
That’s right. After drawing crowds of millions for a two week period, those venues will never see that kind of action again. You’ve built beautiful arenas, the Olympic Village, an aquatics center and tracks that will never be used to their full potential after the games. On top of that, often the Olympics are held in the wealthiest part of a country, while there are impoverished communities just outside the city. These communities don’t benefit from the economic boost from Olympic tourism and are left to watch from the outside as the rich get richer. Not exactly a fun time, or in the Olympic Spirit.
Rio may have made some mistakes, but they’re doing one thing right by addressing both these Olympic-sized problems or what many have called ‘the white elephant in the room.’ They’ve created venues that can be dismantled and reassembled as smaller versions or different things entirely. These new structures are going to benefit surrounding communities long after the games are over and the international crowds have gone home. Rio mayor, Eduardo Paes calls this approach ‘nomadic architecture.’
The Aquatics center will be disassembled and reassembled into two smaller community pools in different neighbourhoods. Components of Future Arena, the handball stadium, will create four 500-student primary schools within the city. The International Broadcast center will become a dormitory for an athletics high school. The rest of the buildings in Olympic park do not have designated future functions, but they are all easy to disassemble or repurpose.
Some of the London Olympic infrastructure was similar in that it could be taken down fairly easily, but this is a first in terms of transporting and repurposing this many Olympic structures.
Yay, Rio! You get gold in building an innovative and waste-conscious Olympic Park. Now, if you could please address the green pool, that would be lovely.