The 1994 Olympics: A Tribute To The Past | Teen Ink

The 1994 Olympics: A Tribute To The Past MAG

By Anonymous

   For two weeks, millions of people faithfully tuned in and watched the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. During those two weeks we were exposed to the great athleticism of some of the world's finest athletes. We shared in the triumphant joy of those who achieved their greatest goal and shared in the sorrow of those who did not. We felt a sense of pride as our fellow Americans stood high on the podium waiting for the American flag to be raised and the National Anthem to be played. What a wonderful feeling it was to watch as the world gathered together in unity!

Yet, throughout the Games we were constantly reminded of the pain and strife in Sarajevo. Just 10 years ago, the Olympic Winter Games were held there. The same unity that was experienced in Norway in 1994 was experienced there in 1984. The Olympic torch still stands in Sarajevo. However, what once stood shining over an Olympic village now stands, with its extinguished flame, overlooking the graves of those who died victims of the ruthless war.

Throughout the 16 days of the Olympics, we were told many stories of the Bosnians. Many fled their troubled country to participate in the Games only to return as refugees. The story of the young, aspiring athlete who wasn't able to escape across the Serbian borders became indelible in our minds as his wish for peace and unity became public.

Many of the participants of this year's Winter Games were also participants in the '84 Olympics. They remembered Sarajevo not as part of a war-torn country marked by pain and strife, but as a peaceful place where many Olympic dreams came true. Katarina Witt was one such athlete whose gold medal dream became a reality in Sarajevo. In Lillehammer, she delivered another spectacular performance, skating to the music of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" as a tribute to the people of Sarajevo. Now, the arena where Katarina Witt once stood receiving her gold medal, with its shattered windows and dilapidated structure, stands as a painful reminder of the continuing war in Bosnia.

In 1984, the world's finest athletes gathered together in Sarajevo in the name of true sportsmanship. Ten years later in the same city, the Olympic village has disappeared under the debris of war.

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i love this so much!