From Olympic Grounds to Battlefield

After the games move out of the respective cities, their Olympic Villages get transformed into parks, residential complexes, or become abandoned entirely.  Sarajevo stands out, however, primarily due to the political and social strife rampant in the country, especially the Bosnian civil war.  Their Olympic grounds have turned into battlefields, and their Olympic village now has become the city’s deadliest killing ground due to its proximity to the airport.  The luge runs are a Serb staging area where artillery and sniper fire rain down upon the city.

Branko Mikulic, president of the organizing committee for the 1984 Games, admits: “When I took the leading role for the Olympics, I thought it would help Sarajevo develop its beauty and grace, and bring it into the 21st century. Now we know that will not happen. Sarajevo is a ruin, a concentration camp. And the world is not even acting to help. I cannot believe it—any of it.”

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