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 in Los Angeles 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 - reportedly with large amounts of alcohol and casual sex 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

  • 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. Located at Viale Diciassettesima Olimpiade

buildings still in use for housing.

Montreal Olympic Village of 1976.
Salt Lake Olympic Village of 2002, now used as student housing.
London Olympic Village of 2012, now part of East Village
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) - Encyclopædia 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). 

External links

  • Media related to Olympic Villages at Wikimedia Commons
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