OLYMPIC ACES IN SARAJEVO // 03. 1994.
ZDRAVKO STOJNIC // ATHLETE
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

March 1994

Zdravko Stojnic
Athlete
OLYMPIC ACES IN SARAJEVO

‘Still, their visit to Sarajevo remains a very nice memory. But I think more for them than for us here in Sarajevo who experienced all the things that we had to go through.’

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MARCH 1994


• NATO operation following the violation of the prohibition of the no-fly zone in the airspace of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Four JNA planes are shot down.


• Washington: The Muslims and Croats sign an agreement on the Federation BiH.


• The Bosnian Serbs block the departure of a UN Canadian convoy from Srebrenica for 30 hours.


• After signing the agreement on the Federation of BiH, the Chiefs of Staff of the ARBiH and HVO will hold a meeting as soon as possible, in which they will, with teams of experts, draw up plans for the dynamic transition of ARBiH and HVO into a common, then later single, armed component of the future Federation of BiH.


• General Laprell succeeds Gen. Cote.
• Four travel routes to and from Sarajevo are opened.


• Fluctuations in the local markets caused by the announcement that roads are opening. Prices at the markets have dropped.


• Washington, March 18, 1994. Peace agreement signed on the creation of the Muslim-Croatian Federation in BiH and the basis for the confederation of the Federation BiH with Croatia. The agreement is signed by: Haris Silajdzic, Kresimir Zubak, Alija Izetbegovic, Franjo Tudjman and Bill Clinton.


• A football match is held at "Kosevo” stadium as a symbolic sign that Sarajevo is no longer a dangerous city. Entrance is free. The game is attended by 15,000 people. The game is played between Sarajevo and UNPROFOR. The result is 4-0 for Sarajevo.


• Tuzla airport is opened. The first passenger is Yasushi Akashi.


• A kilo of coffee on March 7th is 120 DM; on March 21st, 40 DM. Still at the markets goods can be bought for cigarettes and other bartered goods.
• A Swiss clown visits Sarajevo.
• Debate over where the center of Sarajevo is caused by the withdrawal of artillery. The Bosnian Serbs claim that the center is near the Cathedral, whereas NATO experts claim that the city center is 1 km west of the Cathedral. The Serbs need to withdraw their weapons 20 km from the city.
• For the first time since the siege began, Sarajevans can cross from one bank to another. The first bus from the city arrives in Hrasnica, a suburb of Sarajevo, accompanied by UNPROFOR.


• A Turkish UN battalion is coming to Bosnia. Turkish soldiers return to Bosnia after 116 years.


• Due to the developments in Sarajevo, Yasushi Akashi says: "I see light at the end of the tunnel."


• The Jewish holiday of Passover is celebrated.
• In a show of solidarity with the citizens of Sarajevo the world's Olympic greats arrive in Sarajevo.


• Madeleine Albright in Sarajevo: "The future of America and your future are inseparable. This ceremony must show that to everyone.”
• The constitution of the Federation BiH is adopted.


• William Eagleton appointed as the civilian administrator of the UN in Sarajevo. He will devise a plan for the restoration of basic public services.

Recreation

Everyone is in sports clothes, for they are warmer, more comfortable and enable you to run quicker. Most of the members of the Bosnian Armed Forces wear deep white sneakers with the logo Yugosport. Their uniform, at the beginning, consisted of jeans, masking parts, ingenious improvisations made of bright colors. Bulletproof jackets are very rare They can be found at the price of 200 DM. Citizens renew wear and footwear by moving into abandoned apartments.

Walking
Six kilometers a day-that is the average for those who don’t need to go far. Some believe it helps you to keep in good shape.

Running
That is the favorite sport, practiced by everyone in Sarajevo. All cross-roads are run through as are all the dangerous neighborhoods. One runs with stolen wood, to the line where others are standing. Something is on sale, and you will know it only when you join the line.

Rock-climbing
Urban rock-climbing is a compulsory sports discipline. Instead of adequate ropes, one uses sheets. Climbers are solving distances between balconies, from higher to the lower ones which are not yet reached by fire.

Soccer
Often played with soldiers of UNPROFOR. On the other side - Bosnian Armed Forces, police and professional city players who are still here. Games take place in the hall of the burned Skenderija. The game is hard, masculine, with lots of injuries. Foreigners lose here, as they always did.

Chess
Played on staircases, in basements and in shelters. Sometimes even in the chess club Bosna, which has a good and very expensive buffet.

Tree-cutting
An entirely new city discipline. Tools for this sport are an electric saw and axes, small and big. One gets trained by cutting, trimming, splitting and piling the wood on the balcony or in the room, where they don’t suffer so much humidity. Wood is stacked in the bedroom, hall, living room, in the next apartment whose owners have left of disappeared.

THE OLYMPIC MUSEUM

The former Mandic family villa housed the American Consulate before the Olympic Games. After the Games the Olympic museum was opened in the building and it became the site of art exhibitions, the documentary film festival and a meeting place, especially in its outdoor cafe. In 1992, a few days after the mayor announced that the American Embassy would be housed in the villa, it was destroyed. First it was hit by inflammable shells and when the fire broke out, snipers and mortar shells prevented the firemen form extinguishing the flames. Its ruins were the site of several art exhibitions during the siege.

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