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Pictures | Tue Apr 17, 2012 | 1:55pm EDT

Ghosts of Olympics past

<p>Workers unload a truck outside the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", which was the venue for the athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing March 23, 2012. The gigantic infrastructures built for the Beijing Olympics, namely the "Bird's Nest", and the National Aquatics Centre, also known as the "Water Cube", are now used for cultural and sports events, reminding the world of the flare that blazed during the summer of 2008. However, some other Beijing Olympic venues, such as the rowing and kayaking centre, baseball arena and BMX track, have been left either deserted or been completely demolished.   REUTERS/David Gray </p>

Workers unload a truck outside the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", which was the venue for the athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing March 23, 2012. The gigantic infrastructures built...more

Workers unload a truck outside the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", which was the venue for the athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing March 23, 2012. The gigantic infrastructures built for the Beijing Olympics, namely the "Bird's Nest", and the National Aquatics Centre, also known as the "Water Cube", are now used for cultural and sports events, reminding the world of the flare that blazed during the summer of 2008. However, some other Beijing Olympic venues, such as the rowing and kayaking centre, baseball arena and BMX track, have been left either deserted or been completely demolished. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A boat sails past a stand and observation tower at the deserted former venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games rowing competition, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012.    REUTERS/David Gray</p>

A boat sails past a stand and observation tower at the deserted former venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games rowing competition, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

A boat sails past a stand and observation tower at the deserted former venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games rowing competition, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>The deserted and unmaintained former venue for the kayaking competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, can be seen on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012.   REUTERS/David Gray </p>

The deserted and unmaintained former venue for the kayaking competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, can be seen on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

The deserted and unmaintained former venue for the kayaking competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, can be seen on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A flower-shaped lamp can be seen discarded into the lake of the deserted former venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games rowing competition, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012.   REUTERS/David Gray</p>

A flower-shaped lamp can be seen discarded into the lake of the deserted former venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games rowing competition, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

A flower-shaped lamp can be seen discarded into the lake of the deserted former venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games rowing competition, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A sign stands at a deserted field showing where the stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games baseball competition once stood in central Beijing March 30, 2012.    REUTERS/David Gray </p>

A sign stands at a deserted field showing where the stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games baseball competition once stood in central Beijing March 30, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

A sign stands at a deserted field showing where the stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games baseball competition once stood in central Beijing March 30, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A dog sits atop glass plates at a deserted field that was once part of the stadium where the 2008 Olympic Games baseball competition was held in central Beijing March 30, 2012.    REUTERS/David Gray</p>

A dog sits atop glass plates at a deserted field that was once part of the stadium where the 2008 Olympic Games baseball competition was held in central Beijing March 30, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

A dog sits atop glass plates at a deserted field that was once part of the stadium where the 2008 Olympic Games baseball competition was held in central Beijing March 30, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A security fence surrounds the deserted and unmaintained 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition in central Beijing April 2, 2012.    REUTERS/David Gray </p>

A security fence surrounds the deserted and unmaintained 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition in central Beijing April 2, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

A security fence surrounds the deserted and unmaintained 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition in central Beijing April 2, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A worker looks up at the honeycomb-shaped walls of the National Aquatics Centre, also known as the "Water Cube", which was the venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games swimming and diving competitions in Beijing March 27, 2012.     REUTERS/David Gray </p>

A worker looks up at the honeycomb-shaped walls of the National Aquatics Centre, also known as the "Water Cube", which was the venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games swimming and diving competitions in Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray...more

A worker looks up at the honeycomb-shaped walls of the National Aquatics Centre, also known as the "Water Cube", which was the venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games swimming and diving competitions in Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A lone security guard stands on the pool deck of the National Aquatics Centre, also known as the "Water Cube", next to the logo for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing March 27, 2012.  REUTERS/David Gray</p>

A lone security guard stands on the pool deck of the National Aquatics Centre, also known as the "Water Cube", next to the logo for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

A lone security guard stands on the pool deck of the National Aquatics Centre, also known as the "Water Cube", next to the logo for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>Tourists pose for photographs on cement Olympic rings next to a lamp resembling the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", in the former Olympic Green area in Beijing March 23, 2012.   REUTERS/David Gray </p>

Tourists pose for photographs on cement Olympic rings next to a lamp resembling the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", in the former Olympic Green area in Beijing March 23, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

Tourists pose for photographs on cement Olympic rings next to a lamp resembling the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", in the former Olympic Green area in Beijing March 23, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A security guard tries to find the puncture in the inner-tube of his bicycle tire by immersing it in the deserted and unmaintained former course for the kayaking competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012.     REUTERS/David Gray </p>

A security guard tries to find the puncture in the inner-tube of his bicycle tire by immersing it in the deserted and unmaintained former course for the kayaking competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, located on the outskirts of Beijing March...more

A security guard tries to find the puncture in the inner-tube of his bicycle tire by immersing it in the deserted and unmaintained former course for the kayaking competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A barrier tape bearing the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games logo stands out at the front of the deserted and unmaintained former venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games rowing competition, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012.   REUTERS/David Gray </p>

A barrier tape bearing the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games logo stands out at the front of the deserted and unmaintained former venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games rowing competition, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012. ...more

A barrier tape bearing the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games logo stands out at the front of the deserted and unmaintained former venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games rowing competition, located on the outskirts of Beijing March 27, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>The 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition lies deserted and unmaintained in central Beijing April 2, 2012.  REUTERS/David Gray </p>

The 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition lies deserted and unmaintained in central Beijing April 2, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

The 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition lies deserted and unmaintained in central Beijing April 2, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A car driven by a student of a driving school slowly moves around the carpark in front of the deserted 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the cycling competition in central Beijing March 30, 2012.    REUTERS/David Gray </p>

A car driven by a student of a driving school slowly moves around the carpark in front of the deserted 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the cycling competition in central Beijing March 30, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

A car driven by a student of a driving school slowly moves around the carpark in front of the deserted 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the cycling competition in central Beijing March 30, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A woman walks past a security guard outside the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", which was the venue for the athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing March 23, 2012.    REUTERS/David Gray </p>

A woman walks past a security guard outside the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", which was the venue for the athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing March 23, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray...more

A woman walks past a security guard outside the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", which was the venue for the athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing March 23, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>Children skate on an ice rink located inside the Olympic Stadium, also known as the 'Bird's Nest', in Beijing December 19, 2010.    REUTERS/David Gray    </p>

Children skate on an ice rink located inside the Olympic Stadium, also known as the 'Bird's Nest', in Beijing December 19, 2010. REUTERS/David Gray

Children skate on an ice rink located inside the Olympic Stadium, also known as the 'Bird's Nest', in Beijing December 19, 2010. REUTERS/David Gray

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<p>A woman walks past the Olympic Cauldron, one of the few signs left of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games held earlier this year, in Vancouver, British Columbia July 9, 2010.  REUTERS/Andy Clark   </p>

A woman walks past the Olympic Cauldron, one of the few signs left of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games held earlier this year, in Vancouver, British Columbia July 9, 2010. REUTERS/Andy Clark

A woman walks past the Olympic Cauldron, one of the few signs left of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games held earlier this year, in Vancouver, British Columbia July 9, 2010. REUTERS/Andy Clark

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<p>The air supported roof of BC Place Stadium disappears as workman deflated the dome during a procedure in Vancouver, British Columbia May 4, 2010. The roof was taken down to make way for a new retractable one to be installed later. The stadium is home to the Canadian Football League's BC Lions and was the site for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.        REUTERS/Andy Clark   </p>

The air supported roof of BC Place Stadium disappears as workman deflated the dome during a procedure in Vancouver, British Columbia May 4, 2010. The roof was taken down to make way for a new retractable one to be installed later. The stadium is home...more

The air supported roof of BC Place Stadium disappears as workman deflated the dome during a procedure in Vancouver, British Columbia May 4, 2010. The roof was taken down to make way for a new retractable one to be installed later. The stadium is home to the Canadian Football League's BC Lions and was the site for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. REUTERS/Andy Clark

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<p>The Olympic Taekwondo stadium is seen behind a fence at Faliro complex in Athens, May 17 2011.   REUTERS/John Kolesidis </p>

The Olympic Taekwondo stadium is seen behind a fence at Faliro complex in Athens, May 17 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

The Olympic Taekwondo stadium is seen behind a fence at Faliro complex in Athens, May 17 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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<p>A Greek athlete practices at an indoor training centre at Agios Kosmas Sports Complex in Athens February 3, 2012. The rate of decay and dilapidation of Athens' Olympic venues in just eight years provides a visual clue of maintenance costs too high for near-bankrupt Greece to operate. Back in 2004 Greece rushed to deliver the multi-billion dollar Olympic Games organisers hoped would boost the country's growth and its modern image abroad. These days, however, Greek athletes must be satisfied with a trickle of money as they prepare for the 2012 London Olympics, the debt crisis having dried up almost every revenue stream for sports, public or private. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis </p>

A Greek athlete practices at an indoor training centre at Agios Kosmas Sports Complex in Athens February 3, 2012. The rate of decay and dilapidation of Athens' Olympic venues in just eight years provides a visual clue of maintenance costs too high...more

A Greek athlete practices at an indoor training centre at Agios Kosmas Sports Complex in Athens February 3, 2012. The rate of decay and dilapidation of Athens' Olympic venues in just eight years provides a visual clue of maintenance costs too high for near-bankrupt Greece to operate. Back in 2004 Greece rushed to deliver the multi-billion dollar Olympic Games organisers hoped would boost the country's growth and its modern image abroad. These days, however, Greek athletes must be satisfied with a trickle of money as they prepare for the 2012 London Olympics, the debt crisis having dried up almost every revenue stream for sports, public or private. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

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<p>A general view of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Stadium at Faliro complex in Athens February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis</p>

A general view of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Stadium at Faliro complex in Athens February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

A general view of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Stadium at Faliro complex in Athens February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

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<p>Makeshift tents are pitched in front of the Olympic beach volleyball stadium in Athens August 11, 2006.  REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis</p>

Makeshift tents are pitched in front of the Olympic beach volleyball stadium in Athens August 11, 2006. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

Makeshift tents are pitched in front of the Olympic beach volleyball stadium in Athens August 11, 2006. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

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<p>A general view of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Stadium at Faliro complex in Athens February 3, 2012.  REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis </p>

A general view of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Stadium at Faliro complex in Athens February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

A general view of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Stadium at Faliro complex in Athens February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

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<p>Jurgen Mennel from Germany runs inside the Panathenean stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, in Athens, October 21, 2010.  REUTERS/John Kolesidis</p>

Jurgen Mennel from Germany runs inside the Panathenean stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, in Athens, October 21, 2010. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Jurgen Mennel from Germany runs inside the Panathenean stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, in Athens, October 21, 2010. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

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