-- There's still one group that loves the training pool for athletes at the former Olympic village in Athens' northern fringe.

Frogs.

They appear to delight in sitting on debris that floats on the half-filled pool's murky waters.

The athletes village itself has fared somewhat better, turned into housing for workers.

Eight years after the 2004 Athens Games, many of the Olympic venues Greece built at great expense remain abandoned or rarely used. They are the focus of great public anger as the country struggles through a fifth year of recession and nearly three years of a debt crisis that has seen a surge in poverty and unemployment.

At the southern Athens venue for softball – a sport unknown in Greece and already out of the Summer Olympics – the occasional weed is all that remains on the dried-out field.

With no shortage of real beaches in Greece, the purpose-built beach volleyball stadium has seen minimal use in the past eight years, mostly just concerts.

Other Athens venues have fared better. The badminton hall has been converted into a popular theater venue, the former international Olympic broadcast center is a shopping mall and what was the main press center now houses ministry offices.

The old baseball venue has been used for the past two years by a fourth-division local soccer club – although some of the stands could do with a lick of paint.

The hockey venue hosted the Special Olympics last year, but material used in that event still lies abandoned around the rim.

The taekwondo and handball arena is occasionally used for non-sports events.

The main Athens Olympics complex is now mostly open to the public and its sporting venues are used by local teams or to host national championships.

Greek politicians, meanwhile, are still struggling to deal with those years of excess spending, and many economists still question the country's future in the 17-nation common euro currency.

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  • Athens Olympic Venues

    The gate to the Olympic taekwondo and handball arena is locked in southern Athens, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. The purpose-built arena has been occasionally used for non-sporting events since the Athens 2004 Olympics

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    Weeds sprout in the remains of what was once the playing field at the abandoned Olympic softball venue in southern Athens, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    The remains of what was once the playing field is seen at the abandoned Olympic softball venue in southern Athens on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    Rust-flecked metal boarding is seen among the seats at the Olympic baseball venue in southern Athens on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. The stadium has been used for the past two years by a fourth-division local soccer club.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    Signs for streets named after Greek Olympic medallists Costas Kenteris _ who withdrew from the Athens Games after missing a doping test, and Fani Halkia, who was ejected from the Beijing Games four years later after testing positive for a banned substance, are seen at the Olympic village on the northern fringes of Athens on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. After the Athens 2004 Games the village was used as a worker housing project.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    Murky water and rubbish fill an abandoned training pool for athletes at the Olympic village on the northern fringes of Athens, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. After the Athens 2004 Games, the village was used as a worker housing project.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    Frogs sit on rubbish floating in the murky waters of an abandoned training pool for athletes at the Olympic village on the northern fringes of Athens, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. After the Athens 2004 Games the village was used as a worker housing project.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    Frogs inhabit the murky waters of an abandoned training pool for athletes at the Olympic village on the northern fringes of Athens, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. After the Athens 2004 Games, the village was used as a worker housing project.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    A bus passes the remains of a fountain made with Olympic rings and graffiti-defaced marble blocks that were originally dedicated to Greek Olympic medal winners, at the former Olympic village on the northern fringes of Athens, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. After the Athens 2004 Games, the village was used as a worker housing project.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    The open Olympic swimming pool sits empty at the rundown Olympic complex, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 in Athens. After the Athens 2004 Games, the pool has been sporadically used for national championships.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    A worker mows the field of the Olympic baseball venue in southern Athens, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. The stadium has been used for the past two years by a fourth-division local soccer club.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    Weeds sprout in the remains of what was once the playing field at the abandoned Olympic softball venue in southern Athens, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    The Olympic beach volleyball lies abandoned in southern Athens, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. The purpose-built stadium has seen minimal use _ mostly for concerts _ since the Athens 2004 Olympics.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    Smashed boards left over from last year's Special Olympics litter the abandoned Olympic hockey venue in southern Athens on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012.

  • Athens Olympic Venues

    The Olympic cauldron rises behind the central arch in the Olympic stadium of Athens on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. The stadium is one of the very few Olympic venues to have been used for sports after the Athens 2004 Games, hosting soccer matches and athletics.