Beijing Olympic Venues Then and Now — The Sad, Shocking Downfall

The Beijing Olympics in 2008 were used as a coming out party for China. A chance to show the world, with all their eyes on it, that they had arrived. Billions were spent (40 billion, to be exact) in preparation for the games. Thousands of hours were spent by the Chinese people memorizing intricate, organized choreography to show the unity and strength of their people.

In many ways, the Chinese government got what it wanted. Viewers around the world were witness to some of the most remarkable ceremonies and beautiful venues ever seen on the Olympic stage. But with time, it seems all this has been forgotten by the world – and the Chinese are no exception. What were once testaments to the country’s emergence on the world stage, has now become a reminder that perhaps they still have much progress to make.

Below are before and after pictures of some of the more notable venues from the games.

The Bird’s Nest

Site of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as track and field events, it is now sits as a costly relic. Below, workers collect trash from the water.

beijing-birdsnest-1 Image Credit: wikipedia

beijing-birdsnest-2 Image Credit: theblaze

Shunyi Olympic Rowing & Canoeing Park

beijing-canoeing-1 Image Credit: virtualtourist

beijing-canoeing-2 Image Credit: theblaze

Beijing Baseball Stadium

beijing-baseball-1 Image Credit: groundskeeper.mlblogs.com

Stray dog just outside the stadium

Stray dog just outside the stadium

Image Credits: theatlanticcites.com

BMX Complex

beijing-bmx-1 Image Credit: sportsmafia.info

beijing-bmx-2 Image Credit: bmxnews.com

Beach Volleyball Venue

beijing-beachvolleyball-1 Image Credit: dailymail.co.uk

The 2008 Beijing Olympics venue for the beach volleyball competition lies deserted and unmaintained in central Beijing Image Credit: theatlanticcities.com

Gold Paint Huffer Mugshots Over 14 Year Spiral

The following video contains one man’s gold paint huffer mugshots shot over 14 years. Inhaling, “or huffing,” paint causes hearing loss and severe brain damage. Offenders are often found with their mouths and nose covered in silver or gold paint, as these colors produce a much stronger, and also more toxic, high for the user. Nearly 70% of first time users are under 18.

In the following photos, is the sad journey through mug shots of one addicted man over 14 years. In some early photos he appears relatively normal, but it does not take long before his slide takes hold. Many of the arrest photos are separated by just one day. We have a selection of the pictures here, you can see them all in the video below. The photos span 14 years, beginning in 1995 and ending in 2009.

Source: Ethan Plum

gold paint huffer mugshots

huffing paint

arrest photos

arrest pictures

mugshots gold paint

huffing paint arrested

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Ice Hotel Sweden: Where Even the Beds are Frozen!

When most of us picture a beautiful, relaxing vacation we envision lounging on beaches or staying up all night to watch the sunrise — others picture Ice Hotel Sweden. The adventurous frozen travelers gladly pay thousands of dollars to spend a week at the freezing hotel. It exists for just five months out of the year in northern Sweden, opening in December and closing in April. When the hotel’s earliest guests of the season are arriving, ice carvers are still utilizing chainsaws, picks, and other tools to craft their accommodations.

ice hotel sweden

Workers hurry to prepare for guests

Image Credit: Barbara Sjoholm

frozen hotel

Entrance to the freezing cold hotel

Image Credit: hotelclub.com

freezing ice

A look at the meticulously crafted reception desk

Image Credit: tripadvisor.com

Work continues until January when at completion the site features 100 suites, a church, and since you’re sure to be in need of a warm-up, a bar sponsored by Absolut Vodka. This place was truly made to host weddings, it seems.

Absolut bar, complete with ice glasses

Absolut bar, complete with ice glasses

Image Credit: raboff.com

Each season the hotel hosts many weddings

Each season the hotel hosts many weddings

Image Credit: nikkeibp.co.jp

After warming one’s self at the ice bar, guests may retire to their suite where once again everything, including the bed, is made of ice. To ensure comfort, the ice beds featuring furs and specialized sleeping bags.

Time to get nice and cozy?

Time to get nice and cozy?

Image Credit: travelabodes

Another view of an ice bed suite

Another view of an ice bed suite

Image Credit: thecontaminated

When day comes there is much to do at the hotel. Available activities include husky sledging, viewing the Northern Lights, snowmobiling excursions, and more.

Huskies on the move

Huskies on the move

Image Credit: Emily Sheridan

Get a spectacular view of the Northern Lights

Get a spectacular view of the Northern Lights

Image Credit: nationalgeographic

Eventually all good things must come to end and the hotel is left to melt away, waiting patiently the long seven months before its construction artists reappear to carve it into existence.

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