Rio’s Legacy Plans In Doubt as Olympic Aquatics Stadium Left To Rot

Although the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were pitched as one of sustainability, the lingering images from a Games now 6 months removed can only be described as disturbing. What once held images of American Michael Phelps clinching his 23rd Olympic gold medal and Australian Kyle Chalmers shocking a loaded men’s 100m freestyle field is now left in shambles, as Rio’s Olympic Aquatics Centre is now in a dilapidated state.

The stadium hosted both competitive pool swimming and water polo events during the Games, while also displaying Rio’s colorful culture. 27m tall panels displayed Brazilian artist Adriana Varejao’s Celacanto Provoca Marmoto mural surrounding the building, now seen as flapping in the wind of the abandoned structure.

The 15,000-seat capacity stadium was built specifically for the Olympics, with plans to dismantle and repurpose the actual pool. The facility was to be broken down and reconstructed into two smaller aquatics facilities to serve the community after the Olympics wrapped up. However, as the world has witnessed with past Games, the aquatics center now rests empty, decaying and in a state of utter disrepair.

The aquatic stadium isn’t the only ‘legacy building’ that’s been neglected since the Olympics. We previously reported how Maracanã Stadium, home to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies, had already fallen into a state of utter disrepair.

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4 years ago

How is it possible for these facilities to be this bad this fast (unless my interpretation of the written words are different from the writers intentions)? Where they not constructed properly? It is 5 months since the start of the Paralympics.

Reply to  Dan
4 years ago

Dan – I would assume it has to do with the nature of the facility – it was built as a temporary building, to be disassembled and the materials used for other projects after the Games. So, without maintenance, it wouldn’t take long for it to start to deteriorate.

Bo swims
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

The pools should have been given away to the first group willing to pay for the teardown and shipping

Reply to  Bo swims
4 years ago

the pools are packed and will be delivered at their destination before July.

4 years ago

The pools and facilities may be in disrepair but this pic is misleading. The practice pool in this pic is not even a finished pool it is a shell. This picture was before the olympics even happened.

Joel Lin
Reply to  BSSswimdad
4 years ago

Are you certain of that?

While I hope for best, it sounds like Rio was flattened out financially by these Games. The venues for other sports & the Olympic Stadium are also mentioned as falling into neglect by some media outlets. Heartbreaking if this is the case.

4 years ago

It looks like the warmup pool was already moved? That would be my guess. They shouldn’t just leave a hole in the ground like that.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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