EYOF 2019 Sarajevo and East Sarajevo
EYOF 2019 is the biggest sport event organized in Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the Winter Olympic Games 1984 in Sarajevo. It was held from 9th until 16th February 2019. The vision and idea of organizing EYOF in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo was initiated by the Presidency of NOC BiH (Siniša Kisić, Marijan Kvesić and prof.dr Izet Rađo) in 2007.
Placing the idea and concept among leaders, the EYOF candidacy was supported by the Mayor of Sarajevo, prof.dr Alija Behmen, and East Sarajevo,dr Vinko Radovanović, in that time. As time was passing, their successors in 2013 prof.dr Ivo Komšić (Mayor of Sarajevo) and Nenad Samardžija (Mayor of East Sarajevo) offered their selfless support as well.
The Olympic Committee of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a guarantor of credibility for the candidacy, together with the host cities Sarajevo and East Sarajevo signed a contract with the EOC, for the organization of this major sport event. The candidacy was technicaly presented in 2010 in Belgrade, at the EOC General Assembly, by Secretary General dr.sci. Said Fazlagić and Sanja Kavaz.
In accordance with the first contract signed, EYOF was supposed to happen in 2017, but due to the lack of necessary political and financial support it was impossible to implement and organize the event. Many resources were missing.
Thanks to the understanding of Government of Republic of Turkey, and a written guarantee of the BH political institutions, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the host cities, the EOC Assembly allowed swapping the organization with Turkish city Erzurum. Sarajevo and East Sarajevo were confirmed as host cities for EYOF 2019.
Major events bear a lot of responsibilities. Taken in consideration that the scope of work necessary to organize EYOF is increasing day by day, the host cities decided in 2014 to form the EYOF company, that was directly responsible for the organization of the Festival. The first director of the company was Samir Avdić, but after the swapping of the candidacy his function was taken by Senahid Godinjak. The company was organized in 18 functional areas and had in the end over 100 employees.
Olympic values, friendship, respect and excellence have been seen in action. The idea of togetherness, peace and common future has been accepted fully by the BH public, as well as by the entire European Olympic family.
Official EYOF 2019 Sarajevo & East Sarajevo Mascot
A public competition for the creation of the EYOF 2019 Sarajevo & East Sarajevo Mascot was announced and the EYOF Company received 29 proposals. The three best proposals were chosen and put up for voting.
In a strong competition, the creative design of Admir Isaković (“Visia” team – East Sarajevo) named “GROODVY” won the competition on October 26th 2017. Groodvy won over the hearts of BH public very quickly, especially children’s hearts, everybody was waiting for their chance to take picture with the mascot during EYOF 2019 promotional activities.
The return of the Olympic Flame to Bosnia and Herzegovina
In honor of EYOF 2019 Sarajevo & East Sarajevo the “Flame of Peace” ceremony was held on the Olympic stadion in Rome. The Mayors of the host cities Mr. Abdulah Skaka (Sarajevo) and Mr. Nenad Vuković (East Sarajevo) took over the “Flame of Peace”, the symbol of EYOF 2019, which started its way to Sarajevo, to the Opening Ceremony.
The road to Sarajevo, went through Banja Luka, where the “Flame of Peace” was welcomed by high dignitaries, among which presiding of the Presidency of BiH Mr. Milorad Dodik.
The “Flame of Peace” arrived by plane from Banja Luka to Sarajevo on February 2nd 2019, and basketball player Amar Baručija and alpine skier Esma Alić hand it over to the members of the Presidency of BiH, Mr. Željko Komšić and Mr. Šefik Džaferović.
It is interesting to mention that this is the first time in EYOF history that two cities from one country took over the Olympic Torch.
Opening Ceremony of EYOF 2019 Sarajevo & East Sarajevo
The history of beautiful values continues. The special charm of the Opening Ceremony was the Venue, the biggest Stadium in BiH “Asim Ferhatović – Hase”, because it hosted the Opening Ceremony for the 14th Winter Olympic Games 1984 in Sarajevo, exactly 35 years ago.
The Opening Ceremony on February 10th 2019, held under the slogan “We create together” , was attended by 25.000 people and unfortunately 10.000 were not able to get inside the stadium due to the full stands. Among the spectators there were a numerous official, guests from the countries in the region, former athletes and Olympians and citizens who had an opportunity to once again see the lightning of the Olympic Flame in Sarajevo after 35 years. The creative design and production of the Opening Ceremony was led by the company Monogram d.o.o.
The honor to light up the Olympic Flame belonged to judo athlete and Olympian Larisa Cerić, who at that time was the best ranked BH athlete, the Torch was passed to her “hand by hand” of many former and current athletes and Olympians.
The welcome speeches was given by the President of the EOC dr Janez Kocijančič, presiding of the Presidency of BiH Mr. Milorad Dodika, the Mayor of Sarajevo Mr. Abdulah Skaka and the Mayor of East Sarajevo Mr. Nenad Vuković, who together declared the Games open.
Closing Ceremony of EYOF 2019 Sarajevo & East Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina successfully organized an Olympic multi-sport event for the second time. Proud of the accomplished results and messages of peace, friendship and excellence that were sent out into the world, the Closing Ceremony was held on February 15th 2019 in front of the building of the Government of East Sarajevo.
After the Closing Ceremony a party and live concert was organized for all the participants, who showed true meaning of friendship and togetherness of youth in Europe through sport and art.
Sports and Venues
A total number of 904 athletes from 46 European countries, members of the EOC, competed in 8 sports (32 disciplines) on 7 Venues.
- Alpine skiing – Bjelašnica and Jahorina
- Bithlon – Dvorišta
- Cross Country - Igman
- Curling – Pale, “PEKI” hall
- Figure Skating – Skenderija
- Ice Hockey – Zetra
- Snowboard - Bjelašnica
- Speed skating (short track) – Skenderija
112 male and 109 female athletes competed in 3 disciplines (slalom, giant slalom and mixed team parallel event), and 25 medals were awarded. Apart from work groups, unconditional support was given by the members of BIH armed forces and Civil defense. According to EOC and NOC delegations, the competition’s organization was at a high level.
In extremely difficult conditions and at a relatively new venue, 88 male and 79 female athletes, from a total of 27 NOCs, competed successfully in 3 disciplines (sprint, individual and mixed relay). The staff in charge of the stadium, tracks and shooting range have given their best efforts which resulted in EOC and NOCs praise for the organization of biathlon.
Speed skating (short track)
A total of 33 male and 30 female athletes and 12 mixed relays, from 22 NOCs, competed in 7 disciplines. According to EOC and NOC delegations, all events and trainings were successfully organized.
The selection of the 6 national teams (Belarus, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia and Switzerland) was based on the current European ranking list, at that time. The audience could at moments witness the heated atmosphere such as that during the 1984 Olympic Games. All matches, as well as training sessions were well organized.
As the last enlisted sport at EYOF 2019, for its preparation and organization time was scarce. The Representatives of EOC and the 56 competing athletes, from 14 NOCs, were thrilled by the organization of this event. There was a total of 46 matches.
69 male and 85 female athletes, from a total of 34 NOCs competed in 4 disciplines (classical technique, freestyle technique, sprint and mixed relay) at a newly built Venue with a new stadium and lanes (1.4 km, 2.5 km and 5 km). Athletes and the audience enjoyed one of the most beautiful ambientes for cross country skiing.
The newly built Venue had outstanding conditions for the organization and the competition itself. There were 47 male and 25 female athletes, from a total of 22 NOCs, competing in 2 disciplines (Big Air and Slope Style). This Festival has provided snowboarding sport with a modern Venue for the younger generations.
After 35 years Figure skating has returned to its rightful home – Olympic Hall Zetra. 15 male and 29 female athletes from 32 NOCs competed in individual events for women and men. Great organization was witnessed by a big number of visitors. According to EOC and NOC delegations, this competition and all training sessions were organized without a single remark.
Thanks to the organization of the EYOF 2019 Bosnia and Herzegovina once again became a sport center of the world. An event that lighted up the flame in our hearts again after 35 years and the Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo. Led by their own idea and efforts, besides the host cities, the Olympic Committee of BIH had the honor to be one of the organizers of EYOF 2019. It was a special occasion for all citizens of our country, to see how the flame ignites again and to feel how we all breath together. As mentioned before, the Opening Ceremony was held under the slogan “We create together”, and we created history together.
Satisfied with the excellent organization and hospitality, the NOC BIH received a lot of awards and praises, among which the most notable is by far the one from the President of the EOC, dr Janez Kocijačič. This gave us the opportunity for more activities in our country, Sarajevo and East Sarajevo.
The meeting of Vučko and Groody was a symbolic indicator of NOC BIH vision, that united the past, present and future, brought back faith and hope to the values of sport in our country, and highlighted the potential of our youth athletes.
The number of accredited persons during the event is given below:
- Chefs de Mission: 46
- Athletes: 904
- Team Officials: 450
- General Officials: 95
- NOC Media: 23
- NOC Guest: 40
- NOC President: 13
- NOC President accompanying guests: 6
- NOC Secretary General: 18
- NOC Secretary General accompanying guests: 10
- NOC Representatives: 15
- NOC Representatives accompanying guests: 6
- Technical delegates: 11
- International technical representatives: 59
- National technical representatives: 267
- Media: 448
- Organizing Committee: 261
- Volunteers: 618
- Contractors: 1282
Interesting facts of other functional areas (FA) within the Organizing Committee:
- According to the logistic FA, during the delegations’ arrival time on February 7th – 9th 2019, the Sarajevo airport received over 25 tons of sport equipment and personal baggage;
- The transportation FA provided a total of 66 buses, 46 cars, 10 vans, 8 trucks and 6 delivery vehicles;
- During the EYOF 2019 over 15 tons of food and 42.000 bottles of water were consumed in the Athletes’ Village;
- Only athletes consumed over 50.000 liters of fluid (water, juice and tea);
- More than 15.000 lunch boxes were distributed (7 tons of food);
- It is worth mentioning that every minute over 2,5kg food was consumed;
- Special “EYOF 2019 Sarajevo & East Sarajevo” postage stamps were created by the designer Saira Imamović.