Sarajevo'84 Winter Olympics took place 8-19th February 1984, held in the famous Yugoslav ski-destination and picturesque cultural crossroad city of Sarajevo, the current Bosnia-Herzegovina capital. Other candidate cities were Gothenburg (Sweden) and Sapporo (Japan), latest loosing by a close margin of 3 votes.
By choosing Sarajevo, a combination of a cultural & metropolitan host town and close high terrain surroundings was achieved, meaning ideal setting for such a venue. Combined with the local hospitality, cuisine etc., it is remembered as the best Winter Olympics in history.
Organizing the Sarajevo'84 Winter Olympics was the biggest Yugoslav project in all terms and included support across the entire huge country. As with much of the regular equipment, some of the necessary handling equipment for Sarajevo Airport was loaned from Maribor, Zagreb and Belgrade, as Sarajevo airport was at that time a sleepy regional airport having few flights a day to the meeting points at Belgrade and Zagreb.
Thus many of the official participants, guests and spectators used the regular flights to the main airports in Zagreb and Belgrade, from where they continued their trips to Sarajevo on the regular and 5x that many charter flights. At the main airports there were special welcome posts, whose task was to solve problems of further transport to Sarajevo. But many of the guests were also flown by special, direct, charter flights from their origins as it was done with most of the participants and their assistants, journalists etc.
A total of 49 countries attended with athletes (1.142 men, 295 women), 1.204 coaches and assistants. The records show about 700.000 spectators, and 4.521 journalists, cameramen and photographers from 42 countries got accreditation. The venue was transmitted by 67 radio and TV companies, the program lasted 514 hours and over 2,5 billion spectators around the world were following. Total cost was 124,6 million USD.
All this effort and experience opened people’s eyes for Sarajevo, as a potential winter/ski-holiday destination and summer destination with a lot of historic and cultural heritage, and stunning nature. Not to mention the airport, becoming popular with many pilots.
vACCBiH | Training Director + PR & Event Coordinator Mirza Ibrahimović (left) with the late former vACCBiH | Director Irhad Duraković (right) at the Olympic mountain Bjelašnica