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Beijing 2008: What Happened After the Games Were Over?

Who doesn’t remember that f’n awesome opening ceremony from Beijing in 2008?

Photo Credit: EPA

Fireworks both real and fake.

Photo Credit: Artists In Motion

A giant, rolling and eventually floating LED screen…

And the drums….

We’ll never forget the drums…

Or that water cube.

Photo Credit: Charlie Fong

But, what happened after the games ended?

Well, when it comes to the water cube, a lot of things have happened.

They held a lot of events there right after the games, but it went dormant for a while before they renovated it into a water park that opened in 2010.

Photo Credit: Lara Farrar /CNN

This photo from 2012 seems to imply that it might not have stayed quite so pristine.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

Though they do intend to use the cube for curling events when Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics in 2022.

Photo Credit: CCTV5

The old beach volleyball stadium hasn’t fared as well as the water cube.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

And, the white water course remains drained, waiting for nature to take it back.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

I don’t know how they could re-purpose either of those for the winter games.

This used to be the entrance to the baseball field.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

Now it’s just a field with various stuff from the games strewn about.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

The old Olympic green isn’t so green anymore, but they are going to re-purpose that building in the back for the 2022 games.

And, it looks like there’s some kind of festival going on, judging by those tents, so I wouldn’t call this abandoned so much as unkempt.

And, I’d rather see dead grass than wasteful water sprinklers.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

The BMX course, the first ever for an Olympic games, was designed with the idea that China could continue to use it and possibly get a BMX scene going in Beijing.

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Photo Credit: BMX News

But, these pics from 2010 make one wonder if the rumors about China just adding the event for an easy medal (that never materialized) were true…

Photo Credit: BMX News

The parking lot of the more traditional bicycle track is now the place you go when you want to take your driving test.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

The grass around The Bird’s Nest may be dead…

Photo Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

But, the action inside isn’t.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

And, it will host the opening and closing ceremonies for 2022’s winter games.

Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit have been traveling to former host cities and snapping photos of the venues and the people for an ongoing project called “The Olympic City.”

Photo Credit: Gary Hustwit

Their photographs have a more emotional feel to them than some of the stuff coming over from journalists and urban explorers.

Here’s that white water park again.

Photo Credit: Gary Hustwit

I wonder how many tourists actually buy these medals as souvenirs?

I know they look nothing like the actual medals from the game.

But, I’d probably do it if I got to take a selfie with the lady who sells them.

Photo Credit: Gary Hustwit

Of course, for 2022, they had to up the difficulty by splitting the games into three major cities.

Photo Credit: Beijing 2022

Though the only new structure in Beijing will be the skating center.

Photo Credit: Beijing 2022

The other two locations are currently resort towns, but they’ll need a bit of work.

Photo Credit: Beijing 2022

And, they say they’re only going to spend one-tenth of what they spent in 2008.

Photo Credit: Beijing 2022

And, unlike some cities, they aren’t waiting until the year before to get things into gear.

This pic is from a celebration of the one-year anniversary of landing the 2022 games.

Photo Credit: Beijing 2022

Yeah. They’re pumped.

And, I’m dizzy.