In 1896, they cost a little over $440,000 to stage. The 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, topped out at over $50 billion (that’s “billion” with a “B”). China isn’t too far behind in the money race. They spent over $40 billion bringing the international competition to Beijing. Now, with Brazil and its iconic city Rio De Janeiro ready to drop the relatively small sum of $5 billion to host the Olympics, one has to wonder – is the once every four year celebration of amateur athletics worth the money spent, and what happens to all that infrastructure and new construction once the Games end? With cities like London and Barcelona spending $15 billion for their time in the sports limelight, it’s a very valid question.

Even with private funding (which Rio claims will keep them out of the red), many will call the huge amount of construction and geographical and urban re-configuring needed to host the games makes the dollar issue all the more meaningful…and as the gallery below shows, most of the expense goes unused and abandoned after the last medal is awarded. The sad thing? The images below only represent a small portion of the places left in disrepair over the last 120 years. Many areas are completely off limits to prying eyes, the restrictions guaranteed that the rest of the world can’t see what billions in pointless investing has wrought. You be the judge. Are the Olympics worth it?

1984 – Sarajevo

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The Bobsled Run

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Some Of The Facilities Were Taken Over By The Military During A Civil War

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Now Graffiti Artists Add Their Tags

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A Lone Dog By The Former Kosovo Stadium

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The Long Abandoned Ski Jump Ramps

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The Rings Tower Near The Figure Skating Arena

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1996 – Atlanta: Fulton County Stadium Is Demolished

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The Torch Tower Is Now Part Of A Roadway

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2008 – Beijing, China

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All Images Sourced From HERE

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