In Depth

Rio's Olympic stadiums left in disrepair

Iconic Maracana football stadium abandoned and vandalised, while murky water fills the aquatics centre

Six months after the Rio Olympics, many of the venues used during the Games are lying derelict, raising questions about the legacy of the event.

Images of the venues have been doing the rounds on social media amid fears they will never be repaired. They show a deserted and neglected aquatics centre, with pools containing puddles of stagnant water, while the once-iconic Maracana football stadium, which hosted the opening ceremony, has been left abandoned and vandalised.

"Brazil defied the odds to host the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last year - but now their stadiums have been left in ruin," says the Daily Mirror.

"Since the Paralympics closing ceremony, the Maracana Stadium has been looted, the key Games precinct has been shut down and the city’s Olympic golf course is struggling," reports The Guardian.

It is the plight of the Maracana, once the largest stadium in the world, which has generated the most concern after £400m was spent on its upgrade. An ongoing row over who is responsible for its upkeep has left it in a state of serious disrepair.

"Worms have damaged the now-threadbare playing surface, windows inside the stadium have been smashed, copper wire stolen from walls and ceilings, and a reported per cent of the 78,000 seats have been torn up," adds the Guardian.

Last month it was looted, with thieves taking TVs, fixtures and even a bust of journalist Mario Filho, after who the stadium was named. The electricity has now been cut off after an outstanding bill believed to total $1m (£800,000).

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It was hoped that venues built for the Games would be an asset for the city. "Before the games, organizers touted the venues as facilities that could easily be repurposed in sports-crazed Rio," says [3]Reuters. "But little more than one beach volleyball tournament has been played at any of the venues - and even that drew criticism because it involved throwing sand on the Olympic tennis court."

Brazilian paper O Globo says management contracts have not been fulfilled, while temporary venues such as the aquatics centre and handball arena have yet to be dismantled.

Elsewhere, the £16m Olympic golf course is neglected and attracts few players. Even the athletes' village has not been successfully repurposed. "Just 260 of the 3,604 apartments have been sold," says the Mirror.

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