If you plan to be in Beijing this summer, IgoUgo members have some great tips. However, for those of you who may not have been able to get tickets soon enough, you can still go afterwards and enjoy the sights the festivities left behind. IgoUgo members have visited host cities all around the world and have come back with great memories and beautiful photos.
Back when East and West Germany were still competing as separate countries, Seoul hosted the world. While it may not be one of the world’s best kept secrets since then, Seoul still shines. Along with the old stadium, michaelhudson checked out the museum dedicated to the Games, from ancient times to the present. At least, the present in 1988. Of particular interest was the motion simulator: “Following an initial roller-coaster ride, you enter the opening ceremony, enjoy a spoke-level view of a race at the nearby cycling velodrome, bob along with the waves during a yacht race, and track the progress of the ball around a hockey field. It's all very entertaining, with the combination of the motion and graphics succeeding in keeping a class of Korean schoolchildren spellbound for the entire duration of the ride.”
In 1992, Barcelona underwent a complete overhaul for its time in the spotlight as host city. From the beaches to the hills, everything was touched up and new structures were built, adding to Barcelona’s unique architectural legacy. As noted by travelprone, Barcelona could be perceived as a bit bittersweet, but it is a champion in its own right, and the remnants of the Games only add more charm to the Catalonian capital, as seen from Tibidabo: “The view was outstanding from here, better even than from Parc Guell and Montjuic.”
In the US, vampirefan traveled to Atlanta and recounts her experiences from 1996, saying that though “dressage turned out to be very boring and not a whole lot of fun, it was still pretty fun to be in Atlanta for a once-in-a-lifetime event.” She is also able to say, been there, done that.
At the millennium, Sydneysider MG had plenty to say for visitors in town for events. Of course, those are long since over, but the reviews are still as helpful for anyone heading to Sydney: “Massive infrastructure upgrades have occurred to major roads, the Sydney International Airport, sporting facilities including the largest stadium ever built for an Olympic Games (110,000 seats), the parks, the shops; everything has been given an upgrade.”
Harkening back to the origins of the Games, lashr1999 managed to gain entrance into the Athens stadium when it was said to be closed. All it took was some eyelash-batting by one of his traveling companions. Perhaps there should be an official event for that. Meanwhile, patty718 had only praise for the stadium as it embodied the spirit of competition: “There's something about the Olympic Stadium that struck me as very powerful. Is it the presence of some of the best athletes in the world? Is it the tradition of sportsmanship and honor? Or is it the ability for one event to be able to bring so many people from all over the world into one place?”
Whether you get to Beijing in time to see some events, or you go there—or to one of the other host cities—many years from now, hopefully you will be as moved by the commitment and pride that are dedicated at each of the quadrennial events.