For Olympic host cities, this kind of major investment is not unusual. But after the world’s TV sets tune out, some of these cities do not have the infrastructure for upkeep of the venues. In the case of Sarajevo, Bosnia, some Olympic sites were torn apart by war.
Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, but a decade later, terrible conflict ravaged much of the city and killed thousands of civilians.
Today, many of the former venues lie in ruin.
On February 8, 1984, athletes from 49 nations flocked to Sarajevo for the Winter Olympics. The opening ceremony featured an impressive set-up.
It was the first communist state to hold a winter games.
But from 1992 to 1995, amidst the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, the majority of Olympic venues were abandoned.
In the hills above the Bosnian capital, the Bobsleigh and Luge track was used as a Bosnian-Serb artillery stronghold during the Siege of Sarajevo.
Weeds have grown over much of the track …
… which is covered in graffiti, too.
On Mount Igman, 16 miles outside Sarajevo, the city’s ski jumping venue was used as an artillery position.
Bullet holes and cracks riddle the ski jumps.
A billboard blocks the end of one jump.
A crumbling medals podium still stands on the venue’s ground level.
Ski jump judges once sat here.
Meanwhile, moss covers the Olympics’ former steps for spectators.
The abandoned speed skating venue is in the center of Sarajevo.
Faded images of Vucko, the official Olympics mascot, are plastered on the site.
The Olympic snowflake logo also survives on a wall of the Koševo stadium.
Many of the Olympic venues remain as a reminder of the Siege of Sarajevo, which resulted in over 13,000 deaths.
Source:The United Nations
However, not all were left to rot. Mount Jahorina, a renovated site of the women’s Alpine skiing events, is now used by tourists and locals alike.
A 1992 shelling, bombing, and fire destroyed Zetra Hall, where Britain’s ice dancing pair Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean received a row of perfect 6s for their routine. The venue was rebuilt in 1999 after the International Olympic Committee donated $US11.5 million.
From 2000 to 2006, local officials overhauled the larger Skenderija Hall as well. Today, it attracts around 500,000 visitors each year.
Sarajevo residents take pride in the 1984 Olympics. Every year, they celebrate the anniversary of the games at the Koševo stadium.
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