An Olympic Village is a residential complex built or reassigned for the Olympic Games in or nearby the host city for the purpose of accommodating all of the delegations. Olympic Villages are usually located close to the Olympic Stadium within an Olympic Park.[1]

Olympic Villages are built to house all participating athletes during the two weeks of the Games, as well as officials and athletic trainers.[1] After the Games are over, the Olympic Village is typically sold or rented to the local population and turned into a new residential zone for the host city.

The accommodation provided for the 1932 Summer Games in Los Angeles is considered to be the first official modern Olympic Village,[1] and the first permanent Olympic Village was established at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.

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.

History edit

For the first editions of the modern Olympic Games, between 1896 and 1920, there were no official living arrangements for athletes. Some athletes stayed in hotels or hostels, others in schools or barracks, and some even slept in the boats they had taken to the host city.[2]

The protype for the Olympic Village comes from Pierre de Coubertin, then president of the International Olympic Committee. The "General Technical Rules" applicable to the 1924 Summer Games in Paris stipulated that "The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games is required to provide the athletes with accommodation, bedding and food, at a fixed rate which shall be set beforehand per person and per day…."[3]

As result, the organizers built wooden huts and established an accommodation centre near the Stade Olympique de Colombes called the "Olympic Village," allowing the various world teams to stay in the same location, under the same conditions, and with common services.[3]

Consideration was given to creating an Olympic Village ahead of the 1928 Games in Amsterdam, but the organizers opted for other solutions.[3]

 
Athletes assisting in the construction of the 1932 Olympic village, (left to right) Frank Wykoff, Vic Williams, Levi Casey, Bob Hall, Herman Brix, Hector Dyer and Buster Crabbe.[4]

The accommodation provided for the 1932 Summer Games in Los Angeles is considered to be the first official modern Olympic Village, with a capacity of 2,000 people and located to the west of the city.[1][3] Consisting of a group of buildings with rooms to lodge athletes (men only), as well as providing a place to eat and train, it serves as the model for today's Olympic Villages. It also provided certain community services for the first time, including a hospital, a fire station, and a post office.[2]

Following the 1932 Games, a Village would be created for every edition of the Summer Games, apart from the 1948 London Games due to material challenges brought on by the immediate post-war period. For the Winter Games between 1924 and 1956, the teams would still mainly stay in hotels, with the exception of the 1952 Games in Oslo, where three accommodation sites were created.[3]

Women, on the other hand, stayed in other accommodation sites until 1952. This changed with the Melbourne Games of 1956, where women had their own part of the main Olympic Village.[2] This area of the Village would not admit male athletes, and it was only from the 1984 Games in Los Angeles onward that athletes were accommodated by team rather than gender.[3]

The first permanent Olympic Village was established at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.[3]

After the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics, the Villages have been made extremely secure.

At the Paris Olympic Games scheduled for the summer of 2024, organizers plan to distribute 300,000 condoms to athletes, staff, and members of the press in the Olympic Village, aiming to promote comfort and enthusiasm among the more than 14,000 residents. This tradition of distributing condoms at the Olympics dates back to the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and has since seen a significant increase in quantities distributed, reaching 450,000 condoms at the Rio Olympics in 2016.[5][6]

List of Olympic Villages edit

Prototype complexes:

  • Athens 1906 (Intercalated Games): The Zappeion, which was used during Athens 1896 as the main Fencing Hall, was used in 1906 as a (not purpose-built) Olympic Village.[7]
  • 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".[8]

Official Olympic Villages

  • Los Angeles 1932: An Olympic Village was built for the first time in Baldwin Hills, occupied by male athletes. It 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.[9][10][11]
 
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 9.5 kilometres west of Berlin. Used as barracks for over 50 years, the buildings are partially ruined. A men's residence has been restored under the name "Jesse Owens house".
  • 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.[12][13]
 
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.
  • Squaw Valley 1960: Four identical three-story apartment buildings, two of which still stand, modified into condominiums.
  • Rome 1960: consist of 33 buildings with two, three, four and even five floors.
  • Innsbruck 1964 and 1976: A two phases housing buildings at Neu Arzl Olympic Village district.
  • Tokyo 1964: Main village in Yoyoki, with 4 other satellite village in Tokyo.[14]
  • 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 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.
 
2020 Tokyo Olympics Village of 2020.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Competing and being part of the Games Archived 2023-05-11 at the Wayback Machine." 2021 International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2023-04-28.
  2. ^ a b c The Olympic Museum Educational and Cultural Services. 2013. "The Modern Olympic Games Archived 2023-04-29 at the Wayback Machine." The Olympics Museum. Retrieved 2023-04-28.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Olympic Summer Games Villages from Paris 1924 to Tokyo 2020 Archived 2023-04-29 at the Wayback Machine." The Olympic Studies Centre. 2022 June 20.
  4. ^ "As East and West Prepare for Olympic Classic at Los Angeles Next Summer". The Pittsburgh Press. 1 May 1932. p. 25. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  5. ^ Timsit, Annabelle; Ables, Kelsey (2024-03-19). "Sex is back at the Olympic Village: Paris will hand out 300,000 condoms". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2024-03-20.
  6. ^ O'Kane, Caitlin (2024-03-18). "Paris Olympics lifts intimacy ban for athletes and is stocking up on 300,000 condoms - CBS News". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2024-03-20.
  7. ^ "The Zappeion Exhibition Hall over time". The Zappeion Megaron Hall of Athens. Archived from the original on 2008-09-21. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  8. ^ "Olympic Village (village, Olympic Games) - Encyclopædia Britannica". Britannica.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  9. ^ 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Athlete's Village in the Baldwin Hills Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine, Accessed November 12, 2007.
  10. ^ 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Athlete's Village in Baldwin Hills Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine, Accessed November 12, 2007.
  11. ^ "1932 Los Angeles Olympic Athlete's Village - Baldwin Hills- Baldwin Hills Information". Archived from the original on 2020-12-08. Retrieved 2020-11-28.
  12. ^ "Olympiakylä – Olympic village". Docomomo Suomi Finland ry. Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  13. ^ "Kisakylä – Olympic 1952 Village". Docomomo Suomi Finland ry. Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  14. ^ "選手村" (in Japanese). 日本オリンピック委員会. Archived from the original on 2021-06-21. Retrieved 2021-07-03.
  15. ^ "Barcelona 1992 Official Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2008.
  16. ^ "The Olympic and Paralympic Village". Paris 2024. 11 March 2019. Archived from the original on 11 January 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  17. ^ Dennien, Matt (2021-07-28). "First look at Brisbane's 2032 Olympics athletes' village". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 2021-08-09. Retrieved 2021-08-09.

External links edit