I asked this question while watching figure skating and bobsledding venues at the Sochi Olympics. Turns out, there’s an answer, which is that it all depends. The worst? Barricaded mega-structures, like in Athens, where there are 20 of them. Best job in Athens right now? Becoming a security guard for one of these unrepurposed structures. Best? A Badminton venue, also in Athens, has been turned into a theater. Other uses? Lake Placid: one structure — wouldn’t you know! — transformed into a prison. Los Angeles: one structure now houses a Korean megachurch.
And of course, thousands upon thousands of people, usually poor people, are displaced each time a new Olympic Village is built.
Frankly, this is one of those stories that makes me wonder why we haven’t already destroyed the planet, so wanton is our use of energy, so careless our concerns.