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Hadžići, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Igman Olympic Jumps

This abandoned Olympic skiing facility still bears the scars of the Siege of Sarajevo. 

The area around Igman Mountain outside of Sarajevo has been the site of cross-country skiing, the 1984 Winter Olympic ski jump, oh and some wartime atrocities.

Long before the Igman Olympic Jumps were built, the area was already a popular cross-country skiing destination for the nearby locals. When the site was eventually selected as the location for the 1984 Olympic ski jumping facility, construction of a new road started in 1979, followed by the construction of the two concrete jump chutes, the judges’ tower, and the lifts throughout the following years. The completion of the facility in 1983, and the subsequent Olympic Games brought an increased interest in recreational skiing in general, but also ski jumping. However the good times were not to last.

Throughout the Siege of Sarajevo (1992-1995) the area around Igman became the scene of fierce fighting (not unlike the bobsled tracks from that same Olympics). Eventually it became a part of the United Nations buffer zone between the belligerents of the Bosnian government and the Army of Republika Srpska, stretching from the Sarajevo airport and out from the city. The angular Olympic pavilion was even used as a backdrop for summary executions. Today the remains of the fighting can still be seen on the ruins of the Olympic facilities; traces of UN symbols still linger on the abandoned judges’ tower, and some of the structures are still riddled with bullet holes.

Even though the ski jumping hills are unusable today, there is some activity in the Igman ski resort. Three lifts are open to give access to a handful of usable ski slopes. The Olympic podium has been restored to its original state to cover the bullet holes from the executions, restoring some of the normality to a once popular ski resort plagued by war.