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Not Sarajevo but Ljubljana?


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There has been some romantic suggestions that one day Sarajevo could host the Winter Olympics again. With the idea about maybe bring back the games to the former Yugoslav countries, how about possibly hosting the games in Slovenia with Ljubljana as the anchor?

Ljubljana is the capital city so of course has a number of facilities beyond its size with a population just under 300,000 people with the second city Maribor 132km away and the country's third city Celje, in between.

The natural geography of Slovenia makes itself suitable for winter sports with Kranjska Gora and the Maribor Pohorje Ski Resorts both hosting FIS events amd Planica being the largest ski jumping facility - there is also hills at Kranj, just north of Ljubjana.

In terms of indoor facilities, there is Arena Stozice arena which can accommodate 10,500 people, the Tivoli Hall complex with a large hall for 6,000 and a smaller hall for 4,500. There are also venues in Celje (5,000) and in Maribor (3,000) but the later could be replaced with a larger hall. There is possibilty of a Richmond Oval type plan that could work in Maribor. The sliding track is always an issue, but one could be built to replace the Sarajevo slide which is beyong economic repair. As for ceremonies, the historic Bezigrad stadium could be renovated and expanded to become a national stadium.

Slovenia certainly has the topography, and the possibilities, but economically will remain a remote possibility. It could however work.





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If the IOC meant serious business with Agenda 2020, Ljubljana would be a top candidate.

It is more or less on a similar level in size to the two previous winter hosts (counting Gangneung with Pyeongchang) and distances to mountain venues are smaller than in Vancouver. Slovenia also has excellent winter sports infrastructure and fan culture overall, so in theory it would make a really good host. Economy is of course small, but it‘s an EU/Euro country and politically relatively stable (other than having an Orbán fan as PM).

That said, having been to both, Sarajevo would always win my heart over, it is just a fascinating city.

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