What will become of Rio's Olympic stadiums?

The Maracana Stadium in Rio (AAP)
The Maracana Stadium in Rio (AAP)

With the Rio Olympics now out of the way, many are wondering what will become of the stadiums and venues.

In other cities, many high-cost Olympic sites have been left virtually abandoned, but organisers of this year's games have much grander plans.

When Rio won the rights to host the Olympic Games, many Brazilians thought the money could be better spent elsewhere.

And with the event's cost estimated at more than NZ$3 billion, organisers knew they'd be under the microscope.

"It's very important for the population of Rio to see that the things are being done in a smart and economically conscious way," says Tania Braga, Rio 2016 Head of Sustainability.

Many of the new Olympic venues were designed with sustainability in mind - with thought given not just their use over a period of weeks - but over years to come.

Take the Olympic Aquatic Centre - once the Games are over, it will be dismantled, and the parts used to build two new pools in poorer parts of the city.

And materials from the Future Arena will be used to build four new schools in the Barra area - with a plan to have them open for use by 2018.

Of the seven new venues at Barra Olympic Park, the Future Arena was the last one to start being built, but the first one to be ready. It was designed in such a way that it will only take a few months to deconstruct after the Paralympics, and its materials used elsewhere.

"The pillars that are the main the structure, the roof, the elevators, the staircases - everything will become part of the four new schools," says Ms Braga.

Olympic venues in other cities like the Bird's Nest in Beijing and the Volleyball Centre in Athens have become all but white elephants post-games.

They don't want that in Rio. The velodrome and tennis centre will be used for training, one of the Carioca Arenas will become a school and Deodoro's BMX track will become a public park.

"The Rio Olympics is the most sustainable event ever held in Brazil. But it's difficult to compare with previous Olympics because each event is done in a different city, a different country, and you have different realities," says Ms Braga.

Twenty thousand people already know the reality of the Olympics - forced out of their homes to make way for it.

For others, there will be new apartments available at the Olympic Park - with more to come.