Every two years, during the summer and winter, fans around the globe cheer their nation’s athletes at the Olympic games. These are the arenas and stadiums that capture moments of glory and triumph.

Iconic and Celebrated Olympic Venues

Every two years, during the summer and winter, fans around the globe cheer their nation’s athletes at the Olympic games. These are the arenas and stadiums that capture moments of glory and triumph. Panathenaic Stadium Historical Picture Archive/Corbis via Getty Images Panathenaic Stadium Location: Athens, Greece
Built: 6th century BC
Events: 1896 Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics
Capacity: 45,000
Notable History: Renovated ahead of the 1896 Games. Hosted ancient Olympic games before serving as the host of the first modern Olympiad in 1896. Served as the site of the archery competition and the end of the marathon races during the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Stockholm Olympic Stadium Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images Stockholm Olympic Stadium Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Built: 1910-1912
Event: 1912 Olympics
Capacity: 14,417
Notable History: Hosted main events of the 1912 Olympiad, including the (unfortunately) no-longer-contested tug of war. Served as host of the equestrian event of the 1956 Summer Olympics due to quarantine rules in the official host country, Australia. Venue is one of the smallest athletic stadiums in the history of the modern Olympics. Home turf of the women’s Djurgårdens IF soccer team.
Trampolino Olimpico Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori via Getty Images Trampolino Olimpico Location: Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Built: 1923
Event: 1956 Winter Olympics
Capacity: 40,000
Notable History: Hosted the 1927 Ski Jumping World Championships. Featured in 1981 James Bond film, “For Your Eyes Only.” Lost International Ski Federation certification in 1990 and now goes unused.
Yoyogi National Gymnasium Three Lions/Getty Images Yoyogi National Gymnasium Location: Tokyo, Japan
Built: 1963-1964
Event: 1964 Summer Olympics
Capacity: 13,291
Notable History: Electronic touchpads for swimming competitions were first used here during the 1964 Summer Olympics (where the United States won three out of four possible diving gold medals, and seven out of 10 swimming golds. The venue will be used again in the 2020 Summer Olympics for handball.
Olympiastadion Ian Walton/Getty Images Olympiastadion Location: Munich, Germany
Built: 1968-1972
Event: 1972 Summer Olympics
Capacity: 69,250
Notable History: Hosted the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final. Served as the home of the Bayern Munich football club until 2006. Built on the site of World War II Allied bombings. In 1972, athletic events at the stadium were overshadowed by the Munich massacre, when members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September murdered 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer.
Olympic Stadium Charles Laberge/Getty Images Olympic Stadium Location: Montreal, Canada
Built: 1973-1976
Event: 1976 Summer Olympics
Capacity: 56,040
Notable History: Criticized by many citizens of debt-ridden Quebec for being the second-most expensive stadium ever built until that time (after London’s Wembley Stadium) Despite projections that the stadium would cost around $134 Canadian dollars, the facility was not paid for in full until 2006, leaving a tab of C$1.61 billion ($1.25 billion USD). No permanent tenant since the Montreal Expos left in 2004. The famous tower that just skyward from the stadium is still the world’s tallest inclined structure (i.e., not perpendicular to the ground) at 165m/541ft.
Olympic Stadium of Athens “Spyros Louis” Chris Ivin/Getty Images Olympic Stadium of Athens “Spyros Louis” Location: Athens, Greece
Built: 1979
Event: 2004 Summer Olympics
Capacity: 69,618
Notable History: Named in honor of 1986 Olympic marathon winner Spyros Louis. Reopened just two weeks before the 2004 Opening Ceremony after extensive reconstruction. In addition to the 2004 soccer gold medal match, the stadium has hosted several UEFA Champions League Finals, most recently in 2007. Currently used by the AEK Athens football club.
The Bird’s Nest VCG/VCG via Getty Images The Bird’s Nest Location: Beijing, China
Built: 2007
Event: 2008 Summer Olympics
Capacity: 80,000
Notable History: Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei consulted on the design. The venue hosted the Olympic Games’ opening and closing ceremonies in 2008, in addition to track and field events and the soccer final. The Bird’s Nest will again be utilized during the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Water Cube Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Water Cube Location: Beijing, China
Built: 2004-2007
Event: 2008 Summer Olympics
Capacity: 7,000
Notable History: Twenty-five swimming records were broken in the Water Cube’s pool in 2008, suggesting that the pool may have been the fastest in Olympic history (though swimwear changes may also have contributed to the tally). The interior was converted into a water park in 2010. The Water Cube will again be utilized during the 2022 Winter Olympics, this time as the curling venue.
Lee Valley VeloPark Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images Lee Valley VeloPark Location: London, United Kingdom
Built: 2009-2011
Event: 2012 Summer Olympics
Capacity: 6,750
Notable History: Great Britain won seven out of a possible 10 gold medals in track cycling events held in this velodome in 2012. Cycling legend Bradley Wiggins broke the International Cycling Union record for most distance traveled in an hour in 2015, traveling 33.88 miles.
London Stadium Mark Thompson/Getty Images London Stadium Location: London, United Kingdom
Built: 2008-2011
Event: 2012 Summer Olympics
Capacity: 66,000
Notable History: Several world records were broken at the stadium during the 2012 Summer Olympics, including the 4x100m track relay record (Jamaica). Current primary tenants include British Athletics (the governing body for athletics in the UK) and the Premier League’s West Ham United football club.
Iceberg Skating Palace Buda Mendes/LatinContent/Getty Images Iceberg Skating Palace Location: Sochi, Russia
Built: 2012
Event: 2014 Winter Olympics
Capacity: 12,000
Notable History: Russian Viktor Ahn became the all-time leader in gold medals in short track speed skating here in 2014, the same year that the first Olympic team figure skating event was held.


Alpensia Sliding Centre AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images Alpensia Sliding Centre Location: Pyeongchang, South Korea
Built: 2014-2016
Event: 2018 Winter Olympics
Capacity: 7,000
Notable History: Will host bobsled, luge, and skeleton competitions during the 2018 Winter Olympics. Completed toward the end of 2017. Track is 2,018 meters long (6,620 feet), in honor of the year South Korea is hosting the Olympics, making it among the three longest tracks for those events in Olympic history.