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Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic Hall
Sarajevo Zetra Hall.jpg
Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic Hall in March 2017.
Former names Zetra Olympic Hall
Location Alipašina, Koševo, Centar, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Owner Sarajevo Canton
Operator ZOI '84 organization
Capacity 12,000 (18,000 for concerts)
Surface Versatile
Broke ground June 1981
Opened February 14, 1982
Renovated 1999
Construction cost 16.4 million (1999 renovation)
Architect Lidumil Alikalfić
Dušan Đapa
Bosnia and Herzegovina men's national handball team
Bosnia and Herzegovina national futsal team
Bosnia and Herzegovina national ice hockey team
2019 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival

The Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic Hall (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian: Olimpijska dvorana Juan Antonio Samaranch / Олимпијска дворана Хуан Антонио Самаран; formerly Zetra Olympic Hall[1]) is an indoor multi-purpose arena in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Named in honor of Juan Antonio Samaranch in 2010 after his death, it was used for various sporting events at the 1984 Winter Olympics, and as the main venue of the 2019 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival.


The building of the complex started in June 1981 and was officially opened by former President of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch, on February 14, 1982.[2]

Olympic venue

Zetra Olympic Hall was constructed specifically for the 1984 Winter Olympics, hosted in Sarajevo, and was completed in 1982. Its first major event was the 1983 World Junior Speed Skating Championships. It was described as an "ultramodern, angular edifice"[3] with a copper roof. The indoor venue hosted ice hockey and figure skating events, as well as the last closing ceremony held in an indoor place until Vancouver 2010.[4][5][6]

From 1984 to 1991, Zetra remained in service as a venue for ice sports. It served as the venue for several international speed skating events, and several speed skating world records were broken here.


The arena suffered substantial damage from shelling, bombing and fire by the Serb forces on Monday, May 25, 1992 during the Bosnian War.[7] The interior of the structure, such as the basements and main hall, were put into service as a morgue,[8][9] storage space for medication and supplies, and a staging area for UN equipment.[10][11] The wooden seats from the venue were used as material for coffins for civilians killed in the war.[12][13]


After the war, it was discovered that though the building was badly damaged, the foundation was secure. Although the original blueprints were never recovered, in September 1997, reconstruction on the venue, facilitated by the SFOR, began. The International Olympic Committee donated $US 11.5 million to the project,[10] which cost an estimated DM 32 million ( 16.4 million).[8] The reconstruction was completed in 1999.


  1. Olympics Features: Sarajevo Olympic Hall renamed after Juan Antonio Samaranch.
  2. Olympic complex Zetra - Papa u Sarajevu.
  3. "Now Bring On The Torch" Bob Ottum, Sports Illustrated, March 14, 1983
  4. ZOI84 - Zetra - Bjelašnica - Igman.
  5. "A little touch of Heaven" B.J. Phillips, Time, February 27, 1984
  6. 1984 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 71-2, 87-88, 105-8.
  7. "The Killing Ground" William Oscar Johnson, Sports Illustrated, February 14, 1994
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Zetra returns to the future" David Taylor, SFOR Informer #57, March 17, 1999
  9. "1984: Sarajevo" Bonnie DeSimone, New York Times, February 5, 2006
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Sarajevo 2010? Collateral Damage" Sports Illustrated, April 9, 1999
  11. "Guns Now, Butter Later" James L. Graff, Time, July 20, 1992
  12. "TV SPORTS; Goodwill Games Headed for Bosnia?" Richard Sandomir, New York Times, July 7, 1999
  13. "Sarajevo's Olympic Seats Are Now Coffin Boards" Mark Milstein, London Observer news service, August 5, 1993

External links