Olympic Sites of the Past: 10 Olympic Venues as Seen From Space
The Olympic games span history and provide us with tales of drama, character, and interest where the athletes are the stars. Using satellite imaging, we can now look across the globe at locations where past Olympic events took place, from the more recent 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver all the way back to the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri, and capture an idea of what those games must have been like.
The images below provide an interesting glimpse into the unique settings and scenery of Olympic games past, as seen from space.
From frozen mountainsides to iced rinks, the winter Olympics provide a collection of beautiful sites and scenery. Home to the XXI Olympic Winter Olympics, Vancouver showed off its gorgeous vistas made perfect for any winter sport. Captured in the photo above is the Cypress Mountain Ski Area, where Olympians competed in freestyle skiing and snowboarding events during the 2010 winter games.
Pictured below is the BC Place Stadium on the left (where the opening and closing ceremonies were held), and on the right is the Pacific Coliseum (where figure skating and short track speed skating events were held). Click either photo to enlarge.
Athens, Greece became home of the XXVIII Olympic Games in 2004. With a total expenditure of €8.954 billion (as cited by the Greek embassy), Athens constructed and prepared the city to welcome the Olympians in August of 2004. The motto of the XXVIII Olympic Games was Welcome Home, a poignant reminder to all that Greece was the original home to the Olympics.
Below, you can see to the left the buildings where several events were held, from tennis to cycling and football. To the right you can see where events such as fencing, baseball, and field hockey were held.
Sapporo, Japan hosted the XI Olympic Winter Games in February of 1972. As the first winter games to be held outside of North America and Europe, Sapporo became the largest city to host the winter games at the time. Pictured above is Mt. Teine, the beautiful, scenic area where athletes competed in the luge, bobsleigh, and alpine skiing.
Pictured below and to the left is Miyanamori Jump Hill, where the ski jump event was held. To the right is Mount Eniwa where the downhill alpine skiing event was held.
Rome, Italy held the 1960 Summer Olympics, officially titled Games of the XVII Olympiad. Pictured above is the scenic Gulf of Naples, Italy, where yachting events were held for the summer games. Olympians were treated to all of the beautiful sites and scenery that this historic city had to offer and for the first time, North American audiences were able to join in as the 1960 Summer Olympics became the first summer games to be telecast to North America.
Pictured below on the left is the Arch of Constantine where the marathon event concluded. On the right is the Olympic stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies were held.
The 1952 Winter Olympics brought 694 athletes to compete in Oslo, Norway. The VI Olympic Winter Games marks the return of Japan and Germany to the Olympic competitions after both countries missed the 1948 games following the aftermath of World War 2. Pictured above is Holmenkollbakken, where the cross-country races and ski jump events were held.
Below and to the left, you’ll see Bislett Stadion, the heart of the 1952 Winter Olympics and the venue where the figure skating and speed skating events were held. To the right is Jordal Amfi, which became the first ever stadium to use artificial ice during the winter games.
Known as the II Olympic Winter Games, St. Moritz, Switzerland hosted the 1928 Winter Olympics. The 1928 games were the first true Winter Olympics, taking place separately from the Summer Olympics for the first time. The unique and beautiful hills of St. Moritz (as pictured above) were used for the cross-country skiing events.
The 1924 Olympic Games took place in the beautiful setting of Paris, France, in addition to the neighboring commune of Meulan-en-Yvelines (pictured above), which hosted the sailing events. 1924 was the first year that the Olympic motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger), was used.
Pictured below on the right, you can see the Olympic stadium in the commune of Colombes, which held the opening ceremonies. To the right you can see the Velodrome de Vincennes, where the cycling events took place.
The 1920 Olympic Games were held in Antwerp, Belgium as a way of honoring the people there who endured World War I. The Olympic games in Antwerp were the first back after World War I, which resulted in the cancellation of the 1916 Olympics. In that spirit, these Olympic games were the first in which doves were released as a sign of peace.
Below on the left, you can see the Brussels canal where the rowing event took place. On the right, you can see Nachtegalen Park where the archery events took place.
The Summer Olympics of 1912 were held in Stockholm, Sweden, and marked the last Olympic Games before World War I. The Olympics of 1912 were the first of many things: the first to have art competitions, a decathlon, and a pentathlon. Pictured above, you can see Djurgardsbrunnsviken, a bay in Stockholm where the diving, swimming, rowing, and water polo events took place.
Shown below and to the left is lake Malaren, where the cycling event took place. To the right is Liljeholmen, where the cycling and equestrian events took place.
In 1904, 651 athletes gathered in St. Louis, Missouri for the Games of the III Olympiad. The games lasted four and a half months, with the opening ceremonies taking place in July and the closing ceremonies not taking place under the end of November. Above, you can see Creve Coeur Lake, where the rowing events were held.
Below and to the left you can see Francis Field, where a majority of the events took place, including lacrosse, tennis, weightlifting, wrestling, and more. To the right is a picture of Forest Park, where the diving, swimming, and water polo events took place.