The 21st Century Olympic Pools

Iconic swimming venues, which at one time captivated the world, now have varying fortunes. We look back at the first 17 years of this century and how time has treated these once great Olympic venues.

Rio 2016 - From Green to Orange

Controversy started even during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with the infamous green diving pool. Various theories exist about the why, but the legacy of the Games is now the talking point. The outdoor training pool now lays in a state of dereliction, just less than a year since the Games closed.

London 2012 - A Proud Legacy

The LAC (London Aquatic Centre) has pride of place in the QEOP (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park). Much was made of the legacy of the London 2012 Games and ongoing community and major event use of venues was key. GLL (Better) operate the venue and have inbuilt some fantastic and innovative programming initiatives to enable the venue to operate successfully for the public, major events and schools.

Beijing 2008 - From Cube to Tube!

The Water Cube as it was colloquially named, is in the centre of Beijing's Olympic Park. The centre underwent a dramatic £20m "upgrade" in 2010 from international swimming venue to water park, complete with (of course) giant jelly fish!

Athens 2004 - The Olympics comes home, then leaves again abruptly!

Much has been written about Athens' failure to manage the post Olympic period, leaving many, now derelict former sporting venues. The Outdoor pool is now back in use but the Games will forever be the example of how not to manage venues for an Olympic Games.

Sydney 2000 - The best Games ever (until London came along)

Sydney rejuvenated the Olympic movement. From the transport chaos of Atlanta and bidding scandal of Salt Lake City, the Olympics needed some good PR. Sydney delivered. The SOPAC (Sydney Olympic Park Aquatics Centre) is alive and well, hosting community and international events.

There has been so much variety in planning and success, you'd hope that Tokyo (2020) and LA/Paris (2024) will have learned the lessons of Olympics past and can deliver more iconic world class swimming venues for us to use, spectate in and enjoy for years to come.

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