It's a weary place, abandoned, strained, heated joyfully by the first Autumn colors. The Olympic village of Berlin opens up the gates of time and the sound of deceased athletes make their entrance towards the sport field. They are the anonymous ghosts of 36, those untouched by gold, silver or bronze, those that stayed. Their houses have been forgotten, their training shoes have been abandoned, their voices still echo in the gym, the pool and the canteen, 5000 of them. The glory of an illusion, or the illusion of glory? An unanswered question as I stroll pass the house occupied by Jesse Owens (below), the one who stole the spotlights from Hitler during the Berlin games, but that was banned from sport in its own country to end up working on a gas station and fighting lung cancer.
There is a mixture of historical greyness and joy at the same time. The buildings, some partially in ruins, materialize the megalomania of Germany in the 30ies. On the other hand, there is an almost permanent sense of gratitude for being able to touch the same places as the best athletes of the time. Of all these places, the joint canteen has a aura of its own. The oval architecture is pleasing to the eye, the black an white pictures display colourful looks of hope and courage, I wonder if any of them knew there was only 3 years of peace left.