Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1984 Winter Olympics

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Host city  Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Opening ceremony  8 February
Nations participating  49
Closing ceremony  19 February
1984 Winter Olympics

Athletes participating  1272 (998 men, 274 women)
Events  39 in 6 sports (10 disciplines)

The 1984 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIV Olympic Winter Games (French: Les XIVes Jeux olympiques d'hiver; Serbo-Croatian: XIV zimske olimpijske igre / XIV Зимске олимпијске игре; Macedonian: XIV Зимски олимписки игри), was a winter multi-sport event which took place from 8–19 February 1984 in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia. Other candidate cities were Sapporo, Japan; and Gothenburg, Sweden.


It was the first Winter Olympics held in a Communist state. It was also the second Olympics overall, as well as the second consecutive Olympics, to be held in a Communist nation after the 1980 Summer Olympics were held in Moscow, Soviet Union. The only other games that have since been held in a communist state are the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing and 2014 Summer Youth Olympics in Nanjing, and the 2022 Winter Olympics which will be held in Beijing. All of these have been in China.

Host city selection

The host city for the XIV Winter Olympics was announced on 18 May 1978 during an 80th session of the International Olympic Committee in Athens, Greece. Sarajevo was selected over Sapporo, Japan (which hosted the games 12 years earlier) by a margin of three votes. Gothenburg was the first city in Sweden to lose a Winter Olympic bid, as other Swedish cities such as Falun and Östersund would later lose their consecutive bids to Calgary, Albertville, Lillehammer, Nagano, and Salt Lake City respectively. Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was part of the united Yugoslavia at the time.

Torch relay

The torch relay for the 1984 Sarajevo Olympic games started in Olympia and then proceeded by airplane to Dubrovnik. The total distance of the torch relay through Yugoslavia was 5,289 kilometres (3,286 mi) (plus 2,879 kilometres (1,789 mi) of local routes). There were two main routes – one in the west (Split – Ljubljana – Zagreb – Sarajevo with 2,602 kilometres (1,617 mi) of length) and the other in the east (Skopje – Novi Sad – Belgrade – Sarajevo with 2,687 kilometres (1,670 mi) of length). The final torchbearer, from a total of 1600, was figure skater Sanda Dubravčić, who received the torch from skier runner Ivo Čarman. Today one of the two original torches is in Slovenia in a private collection in Žalec, Slovenia. Also 20 more torches are in Greece owned by individual athletes, who were the torchbearers from Ancient Olympia to the nearby military airport and from Athens Domestic Airport to the Panathinaikon Stadium where the Ceremony of handing over the Olympic Flame to the Sarajevo Olympic Games Committee occurred.


  • The Olympic flag was raised upside down during the opening ceremony by mistake.
  • First Games under the presidency of Juan Antonio Samaranch.
  • The 20 kilometre race was added to women's Nordic skiing.
  • Skier Jure Franko won Yugoslavia's first Winter Olympic medal; a silver in the giant slalom.
  • Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen won all three individual cross-country races for women.
  • Gaétan Boucher and Karin Enke each won two gold medals in speed skating, while East German women won all but three out of the twelve medals in the sport.
  • Austria, usually a formidable winter sports nation, won only one bronze medal.
  • Biathlete Eirik Kvalfoss earned a complete set of medals.
  • Twin brothers Phil and Steve Mahre took first and second place in the slalom.
  • Torvill and Dean of Great Britain earned across-the-board perfect scores for artistic impression in the free dance ice dancing competition, a feat that was never matched.
  • The gold medals for Figure Skating were split among four nations. While Torvill and Dean won the Ice Dancing Competition for the UK, Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev of the Soviet Union won the Pairs Competition, Scott Hamilton scored Men's gold for the United States, and Katarina Witt won the first of two consecutive gold medals for East Germany in Ladies Figure Skating.
  • Disabled skiing was a demonstration sport for the first time.
  • Bill Johnson became the first American to win an Olympic downhill event.
  • Lamine Guèye of Senegal was the first Black African skier to compete in the Winter Olympics.
  • The closing ceremony was held indoors in the figure skating venue. The next time the closing ceremony for the Winter Games was held indoors was the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
  • Official mascot

    Readers of Yugoslav newspapers were asked to choose the mascot for the 1984 Winter Olympics from a list of six finalists. The winner was Vučko, the little wolf, designed by Slovenian designer and illustrator Jože Trobec. The other finalists were a chipmunk, a lamb, a mountain goat, a porcupine, and a snowball. The Vučko is a long-time symbol of Sarajevo.

    City venues

  • Koševo Stadium – opening ceremonies
  • Zetra Ice Hall – figure skating, ice hockey (final), closing ceremonies
  • Zetra Ice Rink – speed skating
  • Skenderija II Hall – ice hockey
  • Mountain venues

  • Bjelašnica – alpine skiing (men)
  • Jahorina – alpine skiing (women)
  • Igman, Veliko Polje – cross-country skiing, Nordic combined (cross-country skiing), biathlon
  • Igman Olympic Jumps – Nordic combined (ski jumping), ski jumping
  • Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track at Mt. Trebević – bobsleigh, luge
  • Other facilities

  • Olympic Village, Mojmilo
  • Press Village, Dobrinja
  • Hotels: Igman (Igman), Famos (Bjelašnica), Smuk (Bjelašnica), Bistrica (Jahorina)
  • Competitive events

    There were 39 events contested in 6 sports (10 disciplines).

    Demonstration sport

  • Disabled skiing
  • Calendar

    All dates are in Central European Time (UTC+1)


    A then record of 49 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) entered athletes at the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.

    Egypt, Monaco, Puerto Rico, Senegal, and the British Virgin Islands participated in their 1st Winter Olympic Games.

    The People's Republic of China ended its boycott of the Olympic Games over the controversy regarding the IOC's recognition of the Republic of China. The Republic of China (Taiwan) then competed as Chinese Taipei for the first time.

    Many smaller countries competed in these games, due to the funding program created by the IOC. The IOC decided that it would cover all expenses for one male and one female athlete, per country. This allowed countries with smaller athletic budgets to participate in the Games.


    1984 Winter Olympics Wikipedia