Many residents of Sarajevo consider the 1984 Olympic Stadium an important stop on any city tour. The stadium was first built in the 1940s, and then updated and reconstructed to accommodate the Olympic Games. Today it is known as "Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium", named after a famous Bosnian football/soccer player. In 1997 the stadium hosted a famous concert by U2. Only two years after the war ended the concert brought together Bosnian and Serbian residents, if only for a brief period of time.
Sarajevo was the host of the 1984 Winter Games – the first city since Berlin in 1936 and Tokyo in 1940 to host the Games before being the scene of war and carnage. Little effort is made to showcase either the Stadium or the 1984 Games. When I think of Montreal or Barcelona or Atlanta, a lot of effort is put into preserving the various venues and transforming the main stadium into a sort of memorial for the height of the city’s glory. In Sarajevo, the Olympic stadium has largely been allowed to deteriorate, although some of the surrounding fields are still used for sporting events (there was a soccer training session going on when I visited). The main attraction – the tower with the Olympic logo, the main stadium – are left in the state in which they survived the Civil War. Officially known as the Asim Ferhatovic Stadium or also as the Koševo Stadium (Koševo is the neighbourhood of Sarajevo in which it is located), this stadium is still used for soccer matches and does not really bear the bullet holes or scars of many other buildings. Still, the depressed nature of the entire area is almost like a satirical take on the ideals and values of the Olympics, especially the expansive Koševo cemetery, which undoubtedly took up more than a few of the Olympic stadiums fields.