Wednesday, March 2, 2011

1984 Olympic Sarajevo traces of the glorious past in Bosnia exists to this day

Traces of Sarajevo's Olympic past exists to this day all over the city from the stadiums and skiing facilities to the former Olympic village. I find these images more interesting, bricks in the sidewalk, old metal directions signs and the Olympic rings used in the logo for KK BOSNA and FC BOSNA (basketball and soccer clubs in Sarajevo).

I met the coach for the US speed skating team from the 1984 Olympics a few years ago here in Milwaukee. He mentioned how awful the facilities were in Sarajevo and how the city should have never hosted the Olympics in the first place. There is a lot of truth to what he said, but what people find most memorable from the Olympics besides the actual events themselves were how gracious of hosts Bosnians and Yugoslavians proved to be to the world. Who knew just a few years later Yugoslavia would be tearing itself apart. The Olympics were given to Yugoslavia as much as homage to Tito as a deserving gift to the people of Yugoslavia.
My favorite story from the 1984 Olympics is the one of Kirk Douglass buying Cevapci at a shop downtown Sarajevo and when he received the bill it was for $10,000 usd!
The other memorable story was the one that no snow fell before the Olympics and the mountains were still snow free until the night before the first event. Then snow fell all night letting the Olympics start on time the first day.
There are many stories though just how wonderful the experience was for travellers to Bosnia for the Olympics. If I had a time machine I would love to go back to 1984 and experience that magical moment myself, in person.

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