Professional and Career Topics

When the Olympic Torch's Flame Extinguishes

  • 1.  When the Olympic Torch's Flame Extinguishes

    Posted 08-05-2021 05:14 PM

    Good Afternoon,

    I am having a great time watching the final days of the Summer Olympic Games hosted in Tokyo, Japan!  I started thinking about the venues constructed by the selected host city, as well as the cities who vied for the bid. What happens to them after the games come to an end (or alternatively, after an unsuccessful bid)? Here are two examples that ring close to home for me:

    1. McAuley Aquatic Center, Atlanta, GA, USA – In 1996, the Summer Olympics were held in Atlanta, Georgia. The McAuley Aquatic Center, formerly the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, was the venue for swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and the swimming segment of the modern pentathlon. The Home of the Olympic Village, boxing, and Paralympic volleyball were held on the campus as well. By the time I arrived at Georgia Tech to pursue my Master's degree, the swimming pool was fully enclosed with a newly renovated roof structure.  The pool had become a part of an expanded, modern recreational facility for the Georgia Tech community.  For me, it was mind-blowing to have access to the same facilities as world-class athletes!  Here is a great article about the pool: https://coe.gatech.edu/news/2021/07/engineering-fast-olympic-pool
    2. Former Site of Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA – In 2008, Chicago, Illinois was shortlisted to host the 2016 Olympic Games. After Michael Reese Hospital was planned for closure and the underlying parcel went up for sale, the city purchased it with the intent to use it as the site of the Olympic Village.  After Chicago's loss to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the bid, the property remained vacant.  However, plans for a mixed-use development called the Bronzeville Lakefront were approved by the Chicago City Council in July of this year.  Please find more information here: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dcd/supp_info/former-michael-reese-hospital-site.html
    Can you please share your stories or comments about an existing or proposed Olympic venue's destiny, post the Olympic Games?

    Thank you for your time.

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    Jameelah Ingram P.E., M.ASCE
    Washington, DC
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