Inside city’s crumbling £8billion Olympic Park that became refugee camp

It was the Olympic stadium where Great Britain’s Dame Kelly Holmes won two gold medals in front of thousands of adoring fans but now the huge £8billion park stands empty and neglected.

As these photographs show only echoes of past glories are left under the dust and undergrowth that now covers the Olympic Park in Athens.

Like a Greek tragedy the venue hosting the pinnacle of sporting occasions has diminished into ruin despite the once huge spend to make it come to life.

A global financial crisis sent the Greek economy nosediving and just like the pools at the complex the flow of money ran dry to turn the park into anything useful for the city.

Team GB did have success in Athens in 2004, with Dame Kelly Holmes and scooping top honours in both the 800m and 1500m and Bradley Wiggins doing the double with two golds in cycling.

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Lack of funds have meant gold starred development has been missing from the stadium complex where so many great achievements were made.

CNN reports the Hellinikon Stadium that was used for baseball at the games was for ten years used by a football team, but after 2014 the latest incarnation has been to be filled with white tents by the United Nations Refugee Agency.

The hockey stadium too has been converted to house 3,000 refugees, according to the broadcaster.

Elsewhere in the grounds the pools and water sports areas have long since been emptied and rubble and decay are plain to see.

According to The Sun Hellenic Olympic Properties, the company managing the Olympic venues portfolio found it difficult to find investors.

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Former Olympic weightlifting champion turned Socialist MP, Pyrros Dimas, told The Sun: “We didn’t take advantage of this dynamic that we got in 2004.

“We simply made the biggest mistake in our history: We switched off, locked up the stadiums, let them fall to pieces, and everything finished there.

“We spent a lot of money for some projects (that) are shut and rotting.

“There were projects that should have cost 2 and 3 million (euros) and suddenly became so big that they cost 13 and 14 million. There was no control.”

There has been some hope down the years with the Olympic Stadium having been used occasionally for events and football, and the badminton facility is now a concert hall.

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