The 1984 Games were seen as a grand reunion, as many Western countries had boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics, including the US.
The US boycotted the Olympics in Moscow in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. More than 60 nations refused to take part.
In 1984, many of the events took place near Jahorina Mountain, seen here in 2019.
But soon after the Olympics ended, Yugoslavia was thrust into turmoil, with the country formally collapsing in 1992.
A destroyed hotel at Mount Igman, where events including ski jumping were held in 1984, is pictured in 2014.
Sarajevo was under siege for almost four years, “the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare,” according to NPR.
According to NPR, the Bosnian war led to 100,000 deaths and the “worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.”
The bobsled track was located on Mount Trebević, which was reachable by cable car from the city. It closed in 1989 and was destroyed during the war.
“The remains of destroyed restaurants, hotels, sports facilities and mountain huts were left to rot and the thousands of mines were cleared at a painstakingly slow pace” after the war ended, The Guardian wrote in 2018.
However, the cable car, which ferried people to the bobsled events on the mountain, triumphantly reopened in 2018.
The cable car follows the same route today as it did during the Olympics.
“In the past few years … the mountain has slowly returned to something like its former self,” The Guardian wrote in 2018. “Hotels, restaurants and cafes have been rebuilt, mines swept away and hikers from all over Sarajevo visit en masse.”
Yet, the reminders of the war will always be part of Sarajevo’s history, along with the Olympics. A wartime cemetery was built right next to the Zetra Olympic Hall.
Following the war, the Zetra Ice Hall was rebuilt in 1997 and reopened in 1999. It’s still in use and is now known as the Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic Hall.
Unfortunately, Sarajevo isn’t the only city that has to reckon with abandoned Olympic venues. There are empty stadiums all over the world.