The first returns from the Olympic Games are more often lead than gold. For example, at the London 2012 Games, angry would-be viewers were turned away the archery pavilion, where preliminary archery runs were listed as "unticketed" events. But in this case, "unticketed" meant closed to the public—not free.

A different kind of disappointment greeted viewers at the Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid, FAIA, according to Treehugger's Bonnie Alter. The Olympic venue includes two "water wings" to seat visitors, which boost the venue's capacity but inhibit its sightlines. Alter notes that the wings grant more than 15,000 additional seats—the venue was designed for about 2,000 people—but at a cost:

Had the roof not been obscured by the wings, which isn't the architect's fault, (and apparently she is none too happy about it), it would have been a stunning building. But alas, it will only be seen in its full glory after the Games, when the wings will be removed.

The visitor who sees the Aquatics Centre in "Olympic" mode will have a very different experience of the space than the visitor who sees it in "legacy" mode, which is the mode that viewers have come to understand in renderings. Another reminder that the Olympics are two different sports: one for the spectator, one for the host city.

For a very limited number of Olympic swimming-event viewers, another disappointment awaits inside: obstructed views. The Associated Press reports that the cheapest bleacher seats afford partially obstructed views of certain diving events.