Sarejevo 1984

Surrounded by the pine-forested Dinaric Mountains, the 1984 Olympic Winter Games took place for the first and only time in a Socialist country, Yugoslavia. Initially the host city Sarajevo was buried by snow, blinded by fog and then blasted by 190km/hwinds that shredded the alpine skiing schedule. Weather aside, the host nation gained high marks for their hospitality, and there was no indication of the tragic war that would engulf the city only a few years later. 

Skier Jure Franko brought joy to his country by earning Yugoslavia’s first Winter Olympics medal: a silver in the giant slalom. The 21-year-old Slovenian recorded the fourth fastest time of the first run. He then skied the best time of the second run and ended up in second position. West Germany careened to a win in the two-man luge event, propelled by its 120kg heavyweight slider Hans Stangassinger. Read more>>>

Australia at these Games

Australia sent a team of 11 athletes, 8 men and three women, to the 1984 Olympic Winter Games. The Games saw the debut of Steven Lee, a downhill skier, who finished 19th from a field of 60 with a time of 1 minute 48.02 seconds. He went on to represent Australia at a further two Olympic Winter Games and would win a coveted World Cup event in Super G.

Andrew Paul became Australia’s first biathlon representative at the Games. He competed in the 10km and 20km events, kilometres and 20 kilometres, placing 40th and 47th respectively.

Colin Coates carried the Australian flag in the Opening Ceremony and participated in three speed skating events at his fifth Winter Olympics. Michael Richmond, at his second Games, also raced in three speed skating events. 

Other athletes representing Australia were figure skaters Cameron Medhurst and Vicki Holland, alpine skiers Alistair Guss, Marilla Guss and Ondine McGlashan, and cross-country skiers Chris Allan and David Hislop.