Olympic Village

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An Olympic Village is an accommodation center built for the Olympic Games, usually within an Olympic Park or elsewhere in a host city. Olympic Villages are built to house all participating athletes, as well as officials and athletic trainers. After the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics, the Villages have been made extremely secure. Only athletes, trainers and officials are allowed to room at the Village, though family members and former Olympic athletes are allowed inside with proper checks. Press and media are also barred.


The idea of the Olympic Village comes from Pierre de Coubertin. Up until the 1924 Summer Olympic Games, National Olympic Committees rented locations around the host city to house participants, which was expensive. For the 1924 Summer Olympics, the organizers built cabins near the Stade Olympique de Colombes to allow the athletes to easily access the Games' venues. The Olympic Village of the 1932 Summer Olympics served as the model of today's Olympic Villages; it consisted of a group of buildings with rooms to lodge athletes, and buildings with other accommodations.


It has been widely reported that the Village is known for its hedonism once the athletes are done competing - with large quantities of alcohol and sexual hookups common among the competitors.[1][2][3] For the 2014 games in Sochi, 100,000 free condoms were provided by the IOC for the 6,000 athletes in attendance (a rough average of about 16 condoms per athlete); for the 2012 games in London, 150,000.[4] Despite seemingly large numbers, several instances have occurred where smaller orders have resulted in shortages. Sydney famously only provided 70,000 condoms but ran out, discovering the need to order 20,000 more.[5]

List of Olympic Villages[edit]

  • Athens 1906: The Zappeion, which was used during Athens 1896 as the main Fencing Hall, was used in 1906 as a (not purpose-built) Olympic Village.[6]
  • Paris 1924: In Paris in 1924, a number of cabins were built near the stadium to house visiting athletes; the complex was called "Olympic Village".[7]
  • Los Angeles 1932: The first Olympic Village is constructed in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. For male athletes only, the Village consisted of several hundred buildings, including post and telegraph offices, an amphitheater, a hospital, a fire department, and a bank. Female athletes were housed at the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.[8] The village was dismantled after the games.
Berlin Olympic village of 1936
  • Berlin 1936: About 145 one- and two-story apartment buildings, Haus der Nationen refectory, Hindenburghaus theater, a hospital, an indoor arena, a swimming pool and a sauna in Wustermark about 6 mi west of Berlin. Used as barracks for over 50 years, only ruins remain. Jesse Owens's house has been restored.
  • Helsinki 1952: The first Olympic Village, Olympiakylä, was constructed in the Käpylä district of Helsinki for the planned 1940 Summer Olympics, which were cancelled due to World War II. Another Olympic Village, Kisakylä, was built nearby for the 1952 Olympics. Kisakylä couldn't accommodate all athletes so other villages were also designated for instance in Otaniemi and the Santahamina military base. Both Olympiakylä and Kisakylä areas are listed by Docomomo as significant examples of modern architecture in Finland.[9][10]
Helsinki Olympic Village of 1952.
  • Melbourne 1956: The area in Heidelberg West, Victoria, where the athletes stayed is still called "Olympic Village". After the games, athlete residences were used for public housing. The area now consists of a sports center, a primary school, shopping strip, a community health centre which also houses a registered training organization and a legal service.
  • Rome 1960:consist of 33 buildings with two, three, four and even five floors.
  • Squaw Valley 1960: Four identical three-story apartment buildings, two of which still stand, modified into condominiums.
  • Mexico City 1968: 904 apartments distributed in 29 multi-story buildings in the Miguel Hidalgo Olympic Village Complex.
  • Munich 1972: Multiple buildings of 25, 22, 20, 19, 16, 15, and 12 stories, used now as Olympic Village student housing.
  • Montreal 1976: Olympic Village (Montreal), Two 23-story pyramid-shaped buildings. Now apartment buildings.
  • Lake Placid 1980: The village was built as a minimum security federal prison to house first time offenders after the games known as FCI Ray Brook. It is still in use today.
  • Moscow 1980: Eighteen 16-story buildings.
  • Sarajevo 1984: Apartment buildings now used as condominiums and tourist facilities.
  • Los Angeles 1984: The UCLA residents' facilities, CSULA, USC, and UCSB.
  • Calgary 1988: Presently student accommodations on the campus of the University of Calgary. The athlete's village consisted of the existing Kananaskis, Rundle, Castle, Norquay and Brewster buildings, as well as the newly constructed Glacier and Olympus buildings.
  • Seoul 1988: Twenty-one multiple-story buildings.
  • Albertville 1992: Brides-les-Bains
  • Barcelona 1992: A new neighbourhood, La Vila Olímpica, was built on reclaimed sea front in Poblenou; it became residential after the Games. Secondary villages were built in Banyoles and La Seu d'Urgell for rowing and white water canoeing athletes respectively.[11]
  • Lillehammer 1994: The village was built on a west-facing slope just to the north of Lillehammer, and took its form from the old farms of Gudbrandsdal.
  • Atlanta 1996: Housing was built on the campus of Georgia Institute of Technology, Clark Atlanta University, and Georgia State University. The Olympic village at Georgia State was later bought by Georgia Tech for students' housing. The village on the campus of Clark Atlanta, later became housing for students at CAU.
  • Nagano 1998: The village is located 7 kilometers southwest of Nagano Station. The total land space is 19 hectares. There are 1032 apartments in 22 buildings, and is capable of accommodating 3,000 people. Another Village was in Karuizawa, the site for the newly entered Olympic sport of curling. Karuizawa is about 70 kilometers southeast of Nagano City. 120 people from 9 countries stayed at the Karuizawa Skate Center Hotel during the Winter Games.
  • Sydney 2000: A new suburb, Newington, which became residential following the Games.
Salt Lake Olympic Village of 2002, now used as student housing.
Rio de Janeiro Olympic Village of 2016.


  1. ^ Alipour, Sam (July 23, 2012). "Athletes spill details on dirty secrets in the Olympic Village - ESPN The Magazine - ESPN". ESPN The Magazine. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Wyatt, Ben; Palmeri, Tancredi (August 12, 2012). "Sex, Games and Olympic Village life - CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Harris, Rob (July 18, 2012). "Olympic Village Sex: It's Party Time For Athletes At London Olympics". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Over prepared? IOC to hand out 100K condoms". FOX Sports on MSN. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Celizic, Mike (February 18, 2010). "Cold days, hot nights: Olympic Village secrets". Today in Vancouver. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Zappeion Exhibition Hall over time". The Zappeion Megaron Hall of Athens. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  7. ^ "Olympic Village (village, Olympic Games) - Encyclopedia Britannica". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  8. ^ 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Athlete's Village in the Baldwin Hills, Accessed November 12, 2007.
  9. ^ "Olympiakylä – Olympic village". Docomomo Suomi Finland ry. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Kisakylä – Olympic 1952 Village". Docomomo Suomi Finland ry. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Barcelona 1992 Official Report" (PDF). 

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