Senahid Godinjak

The Olympic flame makes a return to Sarajevo

Senahid Godinjak, Director of the 2019 EYOF (European Youth Olympic Festival), is proud that it’s the second time the Olympic flame will be lit in our city. EYOF will be held in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo (Feb. 9-16), and will see athletes from 46 countries.


This is the largest sporting event to take place in this part of the world since the 14th WOG, and it puts Sarajevo back on the map of European Olympic centers.

- The war of the 1990s disrupted continual use of the venues constructed for the WOG. Therefore, the EYOF meant doing tons of work on infrastructure, repairing old venues and building new ones, especially on the mountains, which will allow us to organize major winter sports events in the future.

Spirit of unity

In addition to the WOG locations (Bjelašnica, Igman, Jahorina, Koševo StadiumZetra and Skenderija), new venues have been readied for the EYOF: Dvorišta at the base of Jahorina, Peki Hall in Pale and Slavija Stadium in E. Sarajevo.

Godinjak is very happy that images showing Sarajevo’s spirit of unity will go out into the world, breaking down prejudices toward the notion of coexistence in this part of the world, especially among young people.

- Our greatest value has been the meeting of civilizations throughout history, the cultures and customs of this land. EYOF should be a part of every home because this is a chance to show our famed warmth and traditional hospitality, and to get our young people interested in sports and healthy living.

The Olympic Museum collection, currently housed in the Zetra Olympic Complex, will be returned to the renovated building that was home to the museum before the war.

- We’re thrilled that the EYOF story will continue to live on as part of the collection, along with items from the ’84 WOG.

Senahid points out that Sarajevo not only has its Olympic heritage, but also attractions such as the National Museum, festivals like SFF and Sarajevo winter….

- One should see Sarajevo from the cable car, and visit Baščaršija and its sacral objects, where a man can find peace. I’m proud of the lovely Vrelo Bosne in Ilidža, where EYOF athletes can enjoy themselves, since Hills and Hollywood Hotels serve as the Olympic village.

EYOF squares

EYOF squares will be set up on Skenderija plaza and in the center of Lukavica. Here interested buyers have a chance to learn more about 2019 EYOF events and the destination’s cultural offering, view interesting exhibits, buy souvenirs….

He says visitors should try Druga Kuća, Bašča Kod Ene, Casa United, Željo Ćevabdžinica..., and the evening program at Coloseum.

Since Sarajevo is known as a place for encounters, Godinjak thinks that we will have to work on raising Sarajevans’ environmental awareness and respond to the increasing demands of tourists.

- We have to increase our airport and accommodation capacity, improve public transport and take care of the lack of parking.