The skiing tradition on Jahorina is almost a century old. It all started with the enthusiasm shown by a bunch of ski lovers, which will later result in building slopes and installing cable cars in line with the latest global standards. The Snow Queen, the term affectionately used for the Jahorina Mountain, was the host of the Winter Olympic Games, and by doing so, made history.
Back in 1984, Jahorina was one of the stages of the 14th Winter Olympic Games held in Sarajevo in February of that year. This event, showcasing youth and sports, made the history of the Olympic movement not only because of many Olympic records but also by the number of registered national teams, of which there were 49. A record number of participants (athletes and their companions), over 2,500 of them, came to Sarajevo.
The most famous skiers competed on the Jahorina slopes. That year, Jahorina was a symbol of friendship and peace, a mountain that promoted all religions, cultures and traditions, which it does to this day. Its rich history that is nurtured and promoted, and the latest ski infrastructure, has placed this Olympic mountain at the very top of ski destinations in the wider region.
Back in 1984, Jahorina was one of the stages of the 14th Winter Olympic Games held in Sarajevo in February of that year. Jahorina was a symbol of friendship and peace, a mountain that promoted all religions, cultures and traditions, which it does to this day.
The first cable car on Jahorina was opened in 1952. It starts near the Jahorina Hotel, at 1,660m altitude, and stretches to the top (1,885m) on Gola Jahorina. The length of the cable car is 1,050m, it’s a single-seater with 102 seats and a capacity of 360 passengers per hour. The ride from the departure station to the top takes 8 minutes. In the next two decades, two more cable cars were opened, and in 1972, a ski lift in the Paradise Valley (Rajska Dolina).
In 1971, the slopes, facilities and cable cars on Jahorina were upgraded to resemble the top international ski resorts, to make Jahorina a real winter sports and recreation hub. In mid-January 1971, the snow compactor arrived in Jahorina which upped the quality of the mountain’s snowy terrains.
In the 1970s, the ski trails on Jahorina were verified by the International Ski Federation (FIS), namely the 3,500m downhill slope, which starts at 887m altitude. Every season, four important competitions are held on Jahorina, with an average of 100 competitors. Jahorina was the host of the European and World Youth Criteria skiing competition, which at that time, was a great promotion for the mountain.
In 1933, the first independent ski organization called Ski Club Sarajevo was founded in Sarajevo, to accommodate the Yugoslav military and members of their families, as well as reserve military officers, who were interested in improving their skiing skills. The Jahorina Ski Club was founded in 1950 at the Yugoslav Military House in Sarajevo, which is credited with building the first ski lift.
However, Jahorina validated its quality in 2019, when the European Youth Winter Olympics Festival (EYOF) was held. This was the largest and most important sporting event in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the Winter Olympics. During February of that year, Alpine skiers, both boys and girls, competed on Jahorina, following in the footsteps of the 1984 Olympians.
Significant international competitions held in Jahorina
- 1957 – 3rd Youth Championship of Alpine countries
- 1974 – 3rd European Youth Criterion competition and the World Downhill Championship
- 1975 – European Cup for men, as well as the World Championship for women, called The Golden Fox. The competition was held on Jahorina because there was no snow on the Pohorje Mountain (Slovenia) that year
- 1977 – the European Cup competition on Jahorina was included in the FIS official event calendar
- 1984 – 24th Winter Olympics
- 2019 – EYOF – European Youth Olympic Winter Festival