War tore apart the city that hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics — here's what the abandoned venues look like today

On February 8, the 2018 Winter Olympics will kick off in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The country has devoted over $1 billion toward building gleaming new stadiums and slopes.

For Olympic host cities, this kind of major investment is not unusual. But after the world’s TV sets tune out, some of these cities do not have the infrastructure for upkeep of the venues. In the case of Sarajevo, Bosnia, some Olympic sites were torn apart by war.

Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, but a decade later, terrible conflict ravaged much of the city and killed thousands of civilians.

Today, many of the former venues lie in ruin.

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Remnants of the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo
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Remnants of the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo

On February 8, 1984, athletes from 49 nations flocked to Sarajevo for the Winter Olympics. The opening ceremony featured an impressive set-up.

(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

It was the first communist state to hold a winter games.

Source: Reuters

(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

But from 1992 to 1995, amidst the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, the majority of Olympic venues were abandoned.

(Photo credit should read ELVIS BARUKCIC/AFP/Getty Images)

In the hills above the Bosnian capital, the Bobsleigh and Luge track was used as a Bosnian-Serb artillery stronghold during the Siege of Sarajevo.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic 

Weeds have grown over much of the track …

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic 

... which is covered in graffiti, too.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic 

On Mount Igman, 16 miles outside Sarajevo, the city’s ski jumping venue was used as an artillery position.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Bullet holes and cracks riddle the ski jumps.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

A billboard blocks the end of one jump.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

A crumbling medals podium still stands on the venue’s ground level.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Ski jump judges once sat here.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Meanwhile, moss covers the Olympics’ former steps for spectators.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

The abandoned speed skating venue is in the center of Sarajevo.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Faded images of Vucko, the official Olympics mascot, are plastered on the site.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

The Olympic snowflake logo also survives on a wall of the Koševo stadium.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Many of the Olympic venues remain as a reminder of the Siege of Sarajevo, which resulted in over 13,000 deaths.

Source: The United Nations

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic 

However, not all were left to rot. Mount Jahorina, a renovated site of the women’s Alpine skiing events, is now used by tourists and locals alike.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic 

A 1992 shelling, bombing, and fire destroyed Zetra Hall, where Britain’s ice dancing pair Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean received a row of perfect 6s for their routine. The venue was rebuilt in 1999 after the International Olympic Committee donated $11.5 million.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic 

From 2000 to 2006, local officials overhauled the larger Skenderija Hall as well. Today, it attracts around 500,000 visitors each year.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Sarajevo residents take pride in the 1984 Olympics. Every year, they celebrate the anniversary of the games at the Koševo stadium.

REUTERS/ Danilo Krstanovic
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SEE ALSO: South Korea spent over $1 billion on these mega-venues for the 2018 Winter Olympics — take a look

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