There was a lot of controversy over the Sochi Winter Olympics both before and during the competition, with allegations of corruption, shoddy construction work, and facilities not being ready for the athletes. However six months after the games ended, Russian photographer Alexander Belenkiy decided to go explore the Olympic site and found it abandoned and desolate. In his own words, Belenkiy said Sochi was a “ghost town”, and a “huge wasteland that’s abandoned.”
Of course, Olympic villages falling into disrepair once the Games are over is not a new occurrence, especially when the newly constructed venues aren’t utilized by sporting committies or the local community, but it’s different in Sochi—mainly as most of the buildings weren’t completely finished in the first place.
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According to Belenkiy, the buildings aren’t so much in a state of disrepair, as in a state of incompletion. Many of the buildings never had their plumbing finished, let alone their exteriors. As you can see from the pictures, the Olympic village is a perfect example of hastily built buildings falling into disrepair. What’s worse, is that you can clearly see that some effort went into their design, but it seems that the finances, manpower, and effort weren’t there to make it a reality.
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According to The Architizer, “With their sharp sense of symmetry, arches, columns, pilasters, and triumphal entrances, the style resembles a melding of Russian Imperial and American post-modern eras. Indeed, the buildings’ lofty ambitions make the scenes all the more tragic.”
Images: Alexander Belenkiy