The 1984 Winter Olympic Games was awarded to Sarajevo, then part of Yugoslavia and now Bosnia & Herzegovina, in 1978 beating out bids from Sapporo in Japan and Gothenburg in Sweden. It was the second Olympics being held in a communist state following Moscow’s hosting of the 1980 Summer Games.
Yugoslavia, under the control or Josip Tito at the time of the bid, wanted to use the event to showcase their country and so no expense was spared in the construction of the facilities which were spread out across 9 venues in the locality.
The games themselves were largely uneventful, although notably, Austria struggled to win medals and Torvill & Dean wowed the crowds with their perfect across the board score for artistic impression in figure skating. A slight hiccup in the opening ceremony meant the Olympic flag was raised upside down.
The bobsleigh and luge events were held on a purpose built track on Trebević mountain which looks over the city of Sarajevo. The design had been completed in 1981 and began construction soon after. It was completed just over a year later and saw huge crowds during the Winter Olympics. The track remained in use until 1991 when the Yugoslav wars put an end to all events. It was damaged during the Siege of Sarajevo in 1992 and was used as an artillery position for the Bosnian Serb forces.
The track remains closed with extensive graffiti and damage caused during the war. Talk of returning it to its former glory has yet to yield results. The Zetra Ice Hall, also part of the Sarajevo Winter Olympics of 1992, was rebuilt following extensive damage during the war and its success has lead to suggestions that some of the other venues should be reopened.
Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Category: Sports Venue