On most days, while she is training a group she hopes will be the next batch of Olympic athletes, Kim Batten can look over her shoulder and show them a bit of inspiration.
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1896 – Athens, Greece — Panathenaic Stadium
The first “modern” Olympic Stadium, Panathenaic Stadium, was reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, and is the only major stadium in the world built entirely of white marble. Although seating has been cut from 80,000 to about 45,000, the stadium is still in limited use for celebrations, concerts and select sporting events. During the 2004 Olympics, the stadium hosted archery and the finish of the Marathon.
1900 – Paris, France — Vélodrome de Vincennes
The Games were held as part of the World’s Fair, so events were spread out throughout Paris and there were no opening and closing ceremonies. The closest thing to a main stadium was the Vélodrome de Vincennes, which hosted cycling, cricket, rugby union, football and gymnastics. Track and field was held at Racing Club de France. The Vélodrome de Vincennes is still used for cycling, football and rugby matches.
1904 – St. Louis, United States — Francis Field
These were the first Games in the United States. Francis Field is now the main stadium for Washington University of St. Louis, which uses it for track and field, cross country, football, and soccer.
1908 – London, England — White City Stadium.
Just outside of London, White City Stadium was specifically built for the games and held 68,000 people. Unlike subsequent Olympics, many of the Games’ events were held there including wrestling and gymnastics. Swimming and Diving? Yes. A pool and diving platform were constructed in the infield. The stadium was demolished in 1985 to make way for BBC White City.
1912 – Stockholm, Sweden — Stockholms Olympiastadion
Seating only 14,000, it is one of the smallest stadiums ever used in a Summer Olympic Games. The stadium is still used for sporting events and concerts. Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson and Kiss have played there multiple times.
1920 — Antwerp, Belgium — Olympisch Stadion (Antwerp)
It is currently used as the home ground of K.F.C. Germinal Beerschot, a Belgian football club.
1924 – Paris, France — Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir
The Racing Metro 92 rugby club uses the stadium as a home field.
1928 – Amsterdam, Netherlands — Olympisch Stadion
In 1987 the city government announced plans to demolish the stadium. But it was saved when it was listed as a national monument. The stadium will host the 2016 European Athletics Championships.
1932 & 1984 – Los Angeles, United States — Memorial Coliseum
Built specifically to host the 1932 Games, it is now the primary home of the University of Southern California’s football team. UCLA, as well as the L.A. Rams and L.A. Raiders also called the stadium home. When the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, they initially played at the Coliseum. One of the best examples of how an Olympic Stadium has been repurposed.
1936 – Berlin — Olympic Stadium (Berlin)
The site of one of the most indelible political moments in history, as Hitler presided over the Games dominated by America’s black athletes, including Jesse Owens. After World War II, it was one of the few buildings in Berlin that survived bombings. The stadium has been used for American-style football and soccer.
1948 – London, England — Wembley Stadium
Originally built in 1923, the old Wembley hosted a number of major events after the 1948 Games, including sporting events and concerts including 1985’s Live Aid. The stadium was demolished in 2003 and replaced by a new Wembley Stadium, which hosted the 2012 Games.
1952 – Helsinki, Finland — Helsinki Olympic Stadium
Now mainly used for hosting sports events and big concerts.
1956 — Melbourne, Australia — Melbourne Cricket Ground
The 10th-largest stadium in the world is the home of the Melbourne Cricket Club. It also holds the record for having the highest light towers at any sports site.
1960 – Rome, Italy — Stadio Olimpico
Remains the main and largest sports facility of Rome.
1964 – Tokyo — National Olympic Stadium (Tokyo)
Currently, Japan’s national soccer team plays there. Originally built in 1958, the stadium will undergo a $1 billion upgrade and full-scale reconstruction in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.
1968 – Mexico City, Mexico — Estadio Olímpico Universitario
The stadium where John Carlos and Tommy Smith gave their Black Power salute is still used and serves as the home for several major soccer teams.
1972 — Munich, Germany — Olympic Stadium (Munich)
The stadium is still used for soccer.
1976 – Montreal, Canada — Olympic Stadium (Montreal)
Nicknamed “The Big O.” As the games began, rising costs and construction mismanagement forced an opening of a stadium that wasn’t actually finished, earning it a second nickname, “The Big Owe.” Subsequently fires, a collapsed roof and falling concrete only added to the problems. After the games, the Montreal Expos moved in. And like the Braves would do, the Expos abandoned the stadium in 2004, moving to Washington, D.C. to become the Nationals. With no permanent resident, the stadium has become what no Olympic city wants, a white elephant. The tower incorporated into the base of the stadium, called the Montreal Tower, is the tallest inclined tower in the world at 574 feet.
1980 – Moscow, Russia — Central Lenin Stadium
The largest stadium in Russia, it is still used for soccer and is one of the few major European stadiums to use artificial turf. Grass fields can’t withstand the harsh Russian winters.
1988 – Seoul, South Korea — Seoul Olympic Stadium
The stadium opened in 1984 to host the Asian Games in 1986 and the Olympic Games in 1988. But since then, the stadium has not hosted any major world sporting events. It currently has no occupant and is not being used.
1992 – Barcelona, Spain — Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys
Originally built in 1927 for the 1929 International Exposition and a 1936 Olympic bid, it was renovated in 1989 to be the main stadium for the 1992 Games. The Stadium has held concerts, American football games and soccer.
1996 — Atlanta, United States — Olympic Stadium/Turner Field
2000 — Sydney, Australia — Stadium Australia
Originally seating 110,000 people, it was the largest Olympic Stadium ever built. Currently, the New South Wales rugby league team’s home games are played there.
2004 –Athens, Greece — Olympic Stadium (Athens)
The stadium was completed in 1982 and renovated in time for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The Stadium still hosts sports and concerts
2008 – Beijing, China — Beijing National Stadium
Considered by many observers the most architecturally pleasing Olympic stadium ever built, the design was born out of a study of Chinese ceramics. It implemented steel beams to hide the supports for the retractable roof, which gives the stadium the appearance of what has become it’s nickname – “The Bird’s Nest.” But since the Games, the stadium has had trouble attracting events and basically sits empty, with paint peeling. To help pay the bills, between 20,000 and 30,000 people visit daily, paying roughly $8.23 for admission.
2012 — London, England — Olympic Stadium (London)