Sarajevo’s Winter Olympic Legacy
Daubed with graffiti and strewn with dry foliage, it is hard to believe that this old bobsleigh track once formed part of state-of-the-art Olympic facilities. It was built for the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo, but like most of the other Olympic venues in Bosnia’s capital, it has been reduced to a crumbling wreck, as much by neglect as by the 1990s conflict that tore apart the former Yugoslavia.
A peeling picture of “Vucko”, the official mascot of the Sarajevo Games, is still just visible in Zetra Hall, the ice-skating venue where Britain’s ice-dancing duo Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean memorably received a row of perfect 6s in front of a packed crowd. The hall was completely destroyed by shelling and bombing during the war and was rebuilt in 1999 after the International Olympic Committee donated $11.5 million for the project
The bobsleigh and luge track was used as a Bosnian-Serb artillery stronghold during the war. It is nowadays a target of frequent vandalism.