In 1984 Sarajevo hosted the Winter Olympic Games, being the second city of the communist bloc to receive the title of Olympic city. The first had been Mosca, four years before, with the Summer Olympics. The unexpected election of Sarajevo by the Olympic committee brought to the international attention this city that from World War I had been almost forgotten and of secondary importance in former Yugoslavia. New infrastructures and areas were developed, and the city, before hardly accessible within the Soviet bloc, opened its doors to thousands of visitors and athletes coming from all over the world. Its inhabitants remember the '80s as the best years of the twentieth century.

Eight years later, when the country declared its independence from the former Yugoslavia, the Bosnian War began and the city of Sarajevo was under siege for nearly four years, during a war that left behind about 10,000 dead and caused social, religious and ideological wounds that will still take a long time to heal. Today the city, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is trying to forget the war and build a new modern identity as international capital. But looking up at the beautiful hills that surround it on all sides, it is impossible not to see the thousands of white graves that fill the countless city cemeteries.

Recently the City of Sarajevo and the ZOI, the institution created from the Olympic Committee after the Games, are decided to bring the Olympics back to Sarajevo, in an attempt to give a clear sign of the revitalization of the city and its development toward a new golden age. In this interview the deputy mayor Miroslav Zivanovic and the director of the Olympic Museum Edin Numankadic speak about the past and future of the Olympics in Sarajevo.

Interview with Miroslav Zivanovic and Edin Numankadic

Documentary on Sarajevo's Olympic Games