Olympic athletes are watched globally as they perform or compete for their chance to be crowned with the most decorated athletic award there is. However, what are these athletes doing while they are not competing?
The 2018 Winter Games are being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The athletes have an option of staying in two separate Olympic villages, or they can arrange their own accommodations.
These athletes spend years training and preparing for what seems like seconds of competing at the Olympics. Their lives are consumed with stress and pressure, always on the grind for that gold medal. The villages offer an escape from all the stress, and allow athletes to release tension in their life before they compete. Athletes can spend time playing video games, getting their haircut or a makeover, and learning interesting facts about the host’s culture. Every year, the technology at these games make huge advancements. For example, the new video game device at this village is a virtual reality ride made by Samsung. The atmosphere created in these villages is meant for athletes all over the world to share a relaxed experience, talking and bringing the different countries together. One village is located in a Coastal Cluster among a beach town resort in Gangneung. The second village is among a mountain cluster in the middle of winter resorts. As a whole, these resorts house up to 2,920 athletes and coaches. The villages are open to media, but certain places are off limits unless granted specific permission by security or athletes. The villages are constantly monitored by security staff to keep all athletes and coaches’ safe.
Many of you may wonder what happens to the villages after the Olympics are over. There are multiple options. Some of the villages are built very close to college campuses which will use it for housing or as an event building. Calgary University in Alberta, Canada took over five new buildings as a part of their campus in 1988. Also, Utah University accumulated 20 apartment complexes after the 2002 Winter Games.
However, those are some of the best valued retired villages. Others haven’t been so lucky. Most of the villages and buildings are totally forgotten about, and now are so run-down they can’t even be used. After the games of Sarajevo in 1984, the buildings and tracks of the Winter Games became military storage for the Bosnia-Serbia war. Much of the park was destroyed by bombs and gunfire. Even the Olympic podium is said to have been covered in bullet holes and a popular place for executions.
Olympic villages take years and millions of dollars to build, but create an atmosphere like no other sporting event in the world. They create a safe, relaxing, and loving place for athletes and spectators to view and enjoy the greatest games on earth.