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5 historic US Olympic venues to visit before the Tokyo Olympics

  • Cars Explained
  • Renee Martin
  • 5 minutes

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With the Olympic Games 2021 barely weeks away, the excitement among fans is palpable. In anticipation of the Tokyo Games, fans may want to make a quick visit to iconic US Olympic venues that hosted previous editions. Whether these venues are a quick drive or a road trip away, Way.com has your back with convenient parking near all of them!

Easily the largest sporting event to bring together the nations of the world, the Olympic Games are a testament to human triumph and willpower. The keenly awaited games – which were to be held in 2020 in Tokyo – were pushed to 2021 due to the pandemic. As things have taken a turn for the better and vaccines are widely available, the games are once more on track! Eager fans are awaiting the start of the games later in July, as are thousands of sporting enthusiasts and athletes around the world.

olympic venues

Americans keenly follow the Olympics not just because they are fans, but also because the US is one of the most competitive nations in the games. In fact, Americans have won the most golds throughout all editions of the games. There are many who would like to rekindle memories of the games held on home soil. The US has hosted three Summer Olympics and four Winter Olympics in the cities of St. Louis, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City.

If you live in or near any of these cities, visiting these locations can be your way of being part of history. We’ve created a list of Olympic venues in the US you should visit to get into the spirit of the games – higher, faster, stronger!

When are the Olympics 2021?

The Olympic Games were to be originally held in 2020 but were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now be held in Tokyo, Japan, from 23 July to 8 August 2021. The Olympics are held every four years, with the previous edition held in Rio in 2016.

Francis Olympic Field, St Louis: Olympic venue in 1904

The St. Louis Olympics in 1904 was the first time the event was held outside Europe. It was also where the current format of awarding three medals – gold, silver, and bronze – was introduced! A majority of the events were held at the Francis Olympic Field, a stadium in Washington University, St. Louis. The multi-purpose venue hosted gymnastics, weightlifting, athletics, archery, and saw many historic records being broken. For example, it was here that George Eyser won 6 medals in gymnastics despite having a wooden leg!

Since then, the old Olympic venue has been designated a National Historic Landmark. It is one of the oldest sporting stadiums west of the Mississippi to still be in use, and has even hosted several US presidential debates!

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: Olympic Venue in 1932 and 1984

olympic venues

Los Angeles will cross a milestone a few years from now. Come 2028, it will be the only city to have hosted the Summer Olympics thrice – it previously hosted the games in 1932 and 1984. The LA Memorial Coliseum will likely hold center stage once again as a prominent venue. Originally constructed as a World War I memorial, it hosted events like athletics, field hockey, equestrian, and gymnastics.

The LA Coliseum was where the victory podium was first used to award winners. It is also famous for having a pair of life-size bronze statues of athletes forming an ‘Olympic Gateway.’ When you visit, also don’t forget to take a snap of the Olympic Cauldron, where the Olympic Fire is first lit. No wonder then that it’s been designated a National Historic Landmark! A drive down to the Coliseum can be enjoyable for all these reasons, but before you do, be sure to book Los Angeles parking in advance.

Lake Placid Olympic Center, New York: Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980

olympic venues

The sports complex at Lake Placid was the venue for the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. It is still very much in use and will host the upcoming 2023 Winter World University Games. When talking about past Olympic venues you should not miss, Lake Placid takes the cake. The Herb Brooks Arena is most famous for the 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey match between the US and the Soviet Union. Many tales have been told about that spectacular match, in which the US won 4-3.

Apart from this slice of history, you can get another blast from the past at the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum – which is also one of the few Olympic Museums in North America. Don’t miss out on a drive to Lake Placid – but ensure you pre-book a New York parking spot first before visiting.

Centennial Olympic Stadium, Atlanta: hosted 1996 Olympics

Now known as Center Parc Stadium, the Centennial Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the games in 1996. Besides, it also was the venue for the track and field events. A few things you should not miss at this historic venue include the Fountain of Rings and monuments to Pierre de Coubertin (founder of the Olympics) and Billy Payne (who was responsible for bringing the games to Atlanta). You will also see a memorial dedicated to 111 who died in the pipe bombing at the stadium that marred the rest of the events.

 Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Atlanta: 1996 Olympics

olympic venues

The Alexander Memorial Coliseum was another major venue for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Since then, it has been refurbished and renovated many times and is now called the Hank McCamish Pavilion. Atlantans may know it more popularly as the ‘Thrillerdome!’ The iconic venue is today more associated with basketball. It has hosted the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA and both the men’s and women’s basketball teams of Georgia Tech, called the ‘Yellowjackets.’ It’s never a bad time to drive down to the Thrillerdome – all you have to do is ensure you book Atlanta parking in advance.

olympic venues

Read more blogs on affordable airport parking, the best insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.


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