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All eyes will turn to the United Kingdom in the coming days as thousands of athletes and countless fans from hundreds of nations will flock to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The United States is no stranger to accommodating the grand international sporting spectacle, having hosted three summer games. So, in a salute to the U.S. athletes and venues that have had a part in the Olympics of yesteryear,REALTOR.com brings you a historical stroll down Gold Medal Lane.
1904 Summer Olympics – St. Louis, MO
Originally awarded to Chicago, IL, St. Louis ended up hosting the third ever international sporting event thanks to some serious arm-twisting by organizers of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. A total of 91 events in 17 different sports were hosted at five different area venues, during a time period that overlapped with the 1904 World’s Fair, another international event which just so happened to be taking place in the very same city.
Francis Field – Clayton, MO
Francis Field, now a National Historic Landmark, was the main venue for the 1904 games and played host to events in 11 different sports, including the now defunct Olympic events, roque, a variation of croquet played on a hard surface, and tug-o-war.
Obviously, quite a bit has changed since 1904. Francis Field is now an event stadium for Washington University for track and field, football and soccer, while Clayton itself is a thriving cultural suburb of St. Louis, where the average listing price is currently hovering around $708,000.
Found within the affluent Clayton neighborhood of Carrswold, the priciest home in the area currently lists for $3.5 million. Set on a lot of 1.2 acres, the 8,527-square-foot Tudor Revival property features a total of six bedrooms and eight baths, along with fine finishes and touches, an au pair suite and an additional attached apartment above the garage.
Forest Park – St. Louis, MO
Considered the “heart of St. Louis” thanks to attractions like the St. Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum, Science Center, and History Museum, Forest Park was not only used as the main hub for the 1904 World’s Fair, but also the location for Olympic diving, swimming and water polo events.
With a rooftop terrace that overlooks Forest Park, this particular penthouse suite, listed for $2.4 million, might be the finest property in the area. Measuring some 3,850-square-feet with three bedrooms and four bathrooms, the contemporary pad offers tremendous views of the St. Louis Arch and other landmarks thanks to a substantial use of floor-to-ceiling glass.
1984 Summer Olympics – Los Angeles, CA
The year was 1984. Playing the part of Olympic host, Ronald Reagan waved his presidential pom-poms, as Sam the Olympic Eagle symbolically flew overhead, to kick-off the ’84 games in Los Angeles. With 140 nations on hand in sunny SoCal, the Soviet Union, Cuba and East Germany not included, the U.S. put its many “Stars in Motion” to bring home 83 gold medals and 174 medals overall.
Lake Casitas – Ojai, CA
For canoeing and rowing events, the Olympic planners opted to head roughly an hour north of the greater Los Angeles area to Ojai Valley’s Lake Casitas. It was there that the U.S. men’s and women’s teams would medal an impressive eight times, including a pair of golds in rowing.
The site of U.S. medal winners, Lake Casitas and Ojai Valley also boasts its fair share of gold medal properties, including this breathtaking estate and ranch located atop the winding Sulphur Mountain Road. Set on a jutting promontory, the property, listed for $9.95 million, offers the pinnacle viewpoint for soaking in the surrounding Los Padres National Forest, the lake and, when clear of overcast, the Pacific Ocean.
Shoreline Marina – Long Beach, CA
The Long Beach Shoreline Marina was built in 1983 specifically with competitions in mind, and the venue ended up as the site of one of the biggest aquatic events at the ’84 games: sailing. Making a strong statement for the host country, U.S. sailing teams would take home three gold and four silver medals in seven different class events.
Today, Long Beach Shoreline Marina is home to some of the area’s finest luxury estates, including this $9 million waterfront property in the well-to-do Naples enclave. Beyond pristine views of the harbor and surrounding waterways, those millions will get you a whole lot of luxury home, including nearly 8,000-square-feet of living space, dockage for a pair of boats, a wine cellar, spa and fire pit.
1996 Summer Olympics – Atlanta, GA
In 1996, Atlanta heeded the centennial call, playing host of the Olympic Games to a record 197 nations. It was an inspiring showcase from the start, with Muhammad Ali surprising the masses to light the Olympic torch during the opening ceremonies, and the U.S athletes following the “Summon the Heroes” mantra to the tune of 44 gold medal finishes and a 101 medals overall.
Georgia International Horse Park – Conyers, GA
More than 600,000 fans flocked to the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers to take in Olympic events ranging from equestrian to mountain biking to modern pentathlon competitions. It was there that celebrated horse trainer Michael Martz would ride Rhum IV to a silver medal during the show jumping equestrian event.
Since the ’96 games, the areas around the Georgia International Horse Park saw major growth, especially in terms of residential development. Still, as one can imagine, ranch homes and equestrian estates such as Hallelujah Ranch are the predominant properties in the area. Set on 63 acres, the $1.95 million horse property boasts a sprawling terrain with a spacious main home, three stocked ponds, a barn and all the essentials for a happy, well-trained horse.
Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA
It’s tough to live up to the expectations of the ’92 Olympics’ ‘Dream Team’, a mashup of NBA All-Stars considered to be the greatest collection of players ever. However, both the men’s and women’s ’96 ensembles did not disappoint, smashing their way to gold medals in front of the throng of fans who packed the seats of the Georgia Dome.
With slam dunks views of downtown Atlanta, this loft is a major contender in any residential event. Listed for $1.5 million, the four-floor property features a ‘Dream Team’ of luxury amenities, including a gourmet kitchen, elevator and the ultimate and-one, a rooftop deck.