Beautiful Olympic Venues
Olympic is the greatest and the most decorated sports event on earth with its amazing rituals and symbols like Olympic flag, torch, and opening and closing ceremonies. More than 13,000 athletes participate in the 33 different sports with more than 400 events in modern Olympics. The Olympics was started by the ancient Greeks in 776 BC in Olympia as a competition among representatives of city-states. According to Greek mythology, Herakles, with his four brothers, raced at Olympia to entertain the newborn Zeus and crowned Zeus with an olive leaf wreath which is still the signature crown of modern Olympics. The four brothers are the main reason of the four years interval between each Olympic Games. Modern Olympic games were started in 1896 under the supervision of IOC and from that time it continued its journey to different countries as the host of modern Olympic Games. The stadiums used for Olympics since it was first started were the best on the planet to appropriately honor the greatest show, so here is the list of 10 most beautiful Olympic venues.
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10 Most Beautiful Olympic Venues
London Aquatics Centre
The indoor swimming facility in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at Stratford, London, is called the London Aquatics Centre which hosted 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. It will also host the FINA Diving World Series 2014 and the European Aquatics Championships 2016. It was designed by architect ZahaHadid in 2004 who also won the Pritzker Prize, and the construction of the center was done by the Balfour Beatty. The design of the aquatics center is inspired by the Dollan Aqua Centre in Scotland and features two 160-foot swimming pools and an 82-foot diving pool. The London Aquatics Centre is 520 feet long, 260 feet wide and 148 feet in height, and its wave-like roof covers 11,200 square feet. The construction cost of this stadium is an estimated $445 million and was completed in July 2011 with the final capacity of 17,500.
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Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion
The Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion was the showcasing venue for the 2012 London Olympic Games and is regarded as the best experimental fusion of sports, music and architecture. Coca-Cola developed this pavilion as a signature of their global campaign for 2012 London Olympic called Move to the Beat which aims to bring young spectators to the Olympic venues while mixing their passion for music and sports. It was designed by Asif Khan and PernillaOhrstedt and was opened to the public on 27 July 2012. The pavilion was covered with 200 interlocking ETFE cushions which are red and white in color and can create an interactive sound. The most amazing fact about this pavilion is that the visitors can play the whole pavilion like a musical instrument and mix five soundtracks of Coca-Cola Olympic anthem ‘Anywhere in the World’ by Mark Ronson.
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Beijing National Stadium
Beijing National Stadium is located in Olympic Green complex, China, and famously known as the Bird’s Nest. It was used as the main venue for 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Along with the sports events, the Beijing National Stadium also hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of 2008 Olympic. After a bidding process with 13 final submissions, the stadium’s design was finally made by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron with the help of project architect Stefan Marbach and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei as the artistic consultant. The final construction cost of this stadium was $428 million, and the stadium was officially opened for public on 28 June 2008. The stadium was originally designed with the capacity of 100,000 people but was reduced to 91,000 during a simplification of the design.
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Montreal Olympic Stadium
The Montreal Olympic Stadium is located in in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district of Montreal, Canada and was nicknamed “The Big O” for its giant doughnut-shape roof. It is also called as “The Big Owe” as a to reference the astronomical construction cost of 770 million Canadian dollars that summed up to 1.47 billion Canadian dollars after modifications and repairs. It was primarily developed as the main venue of the 1976 Montreal Olympics and later became the home of Montreal’s football and baseball teams. The world’s tallest inclined tower called the Montreal Tower that stands 574 feet is located on the north base of the stadium. The stadium was designed by French architect Roger Taillibert and is widely considered as a masterpiece of Organic Modern architecture. The seating capacity of this stadium is 65,255.
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Beijing National Aquatics Center
The National Aquatics Center of China is located in Beijing and was nicknamed the Water Cube for its amazing architecture which resembles a water cuboid. After having ten proposals in an international architectural competition for the aquatic center project, it was finally designed and developed by Australian architecture firm PTW Architects with the help of Arup international engineering group, CSCEC and CCDI of Shanghai. It was opened officially for public on January 28, 2008, for the Olympic and officially reopened on August 8, 2010, after half of the center was redesigned as a water park. It covers a total land surface of 65,000 square meters with the seating capacity of 17,000. It was named the Project of the Year 2008 by the Australian Institute of Project Management. As an interesting fact, 2008 Olympic Swimmers broke 25 world records while participating on the Water Cube.
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The Olympiastadion is located at the heart of the Olympiapark München in Munich, Germany and considered as the revolutionary architectural project for its time. It was used as the main venue for the 1972 Munich Olympics and later also hosted the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final, the Euro ’88 Final and the European Cup Finals three times. It was also the home ground of FC Bayern Munich before they moved into the Allianz Arena. It was designed by German architect GüntherBehnisch and the engineer Frei Otto with a seating capacity of 80,000 which was now reduced to 69,250 after modifications. The official motto of this stadium is Die HeiterenSpiele which means The Happy Games. Besides hosting sports events, it also hosted many open-air concerts of various artistes which include Michael Jackson, U2, Coldplay, Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica and many others.
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Basketball Arena London
The Basketball Arena is located in the Olympic Park in Stratford, London and was designed to be fully recyclable. It was used as the main venue for the basketball events at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The arena is 115 meter long, 100 meter wide and 35 meter roof height. It was designed by the Wilkinson Eyre Architects & KSS Design Group, and the construction was developed by Barr Construction. The lighting and color‐changing effects for the evening games were designed by United Visual Artists. The construction cost of this project was estimated $ 62.5 million, and it has the seating capacity of 12,000 for basketball and handball, and 10,000 for wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball. The construction of the basketball arena was started in October 2009 and was opened officially for public in June 2011.
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The state-of-the-art Olympic velodrome is located at the northern half of the Olympic Park in Stratford, England, and considered as the most beautiful velodrome ever built. It was used as the main venue for the cycling events at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and Paralympics. It was designed by London based architect firm Hopkins Architects and was constructed by the Expedition Engineering Ltd and Schlaichbergermann partner. The roof of this velodrome is 22 meter high and resembles the shape of ‘Pringle’ potato chip. Along with the velodrome with Siberian pine surface, the complex has a BMX racing track, a mountain bike track and a one-mile road course. The construction cost of this project was estimated £105 million, and it has a seating capacity of 6,000 for all the events.
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Athens Olympic Sports Complex
The Olympic Athletic Center of Athens or OACA is located at Marousi city, Athens, Greece, and features five major venues and many other supplementary sports facilities. It is also known as the Spiros Louis which was named after Spyridon Louis who won the first modern-day Olympic marathon at the 1896 Summer Olympics called Games of the I Olympiad in Greece. It was used as the main venue for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games after extensive renovation but before that, it also hosted the 1991 Mediterranean Games and the 1997 World Championship in Athletics. Currently, the complex is also used as the home ground of Panathinaikos FC and AEK Athens FC. It was redesigned by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava for the Olympic and mainly features a stadium, indoor hall, aquatic center, velodrome and a tennis center.
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Yoyogi National Gymnasium
Yoyogi National Gymnasium is located at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, Japan and famous for its amazing suspension roof design. It was used as the main venue for the swimming and diving events at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and will also host the handball events at the 2020 Japan Summer Olympics after extensive renovation. Besides Olympics, it also hosted the 2010 World Judo Championships and 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championship. It was designed by KenzoTange with 9,079 stand seats, 4,124 arena seats and 88 royal boxes. The construction was started in February 1963 and officially opened for public in October 1964. The design of this gymnasium was the main inspiration behind 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium designed by Thomas Jefferson Medal winner German architect Frei Otto.
Many other state-of-the-art stadiums are already in their construction phase, waiting to be used as the venues of 2016 Rio Olympics and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Rio will be the first South American city to host an Olympic with 35 competition venues in Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracanã. Estádio Olímpico João Havelange or simply with its nickname Engenhão will be one of the most spectacular stadium to host the events in Rio Olympic.