The XIV Winter Games closed Sunday night, with the...


SARAJEVO, Yugoslavia -- The XIV Winter Games closed Sunday night, with the East Germans and Soviets taking the most Olympic medals and the Yugoslav organizers happy to have broken even on their $135-140 million investment.

Juan Antonio Samaranch of Spain, president of the International Olympic Committee, formally closed the 13-day Games by expressing his 'deepest gratitude' to the organizers and the 450,000 people of Sarajevo who opened up their homes to accommodate some 24,000 foreign tourists and 15,000 athletes.


'I declare the XIV Olympic Winter Games closed and in accordance with tradition, I call upon the youth of all the world to assemble four years from now at Calgary, in Canada, to celebrate with us the XV Olympic Winter Games,' Samaranch told a crowd of 6,000 in Zetra Arena.

The host country said good-bye in a 30-minute closing ceremony on ice, starting with the traditional closing parade of six athletes from each country, followed by the raising of the Greek flag, the Yugoslav flag and the flag for Canada, the Winter Olympic hosts in 1988.


As eight Yugoslav National Army cadets carried out the Olympic flag, the Olympic flame burning outdoors was extinguished.

A children's figure skating group and youth dance group sent everyone home with a rousing song, 'It was nice in Sarajevo, see you in Calgary' as Sarajevo's mascot fox Vucko and the Calgary mascots, Hidy and Howdy, descended from the ceiling, waving good-bye.

The Soviet Union goes home with the most medals, 25 out of 39 events, followed by East Germany with 24. East Germany, however, led the gold medal race with nine vs. six for the Soviets. The United States garnered four gold medals in skiing and figure skating as well as four silvers.

There are no final attendance figures yet, but Yugoslav organizers said Sunday 777,361 tickets were printed -- 360,000 for citizens, 150,000 for tourists (mostly American) and the rest for organizers and athletes from a record 49 countries.

ing amount abc paid for tv rights)> xxx 49 countries.> The Games cost Yugoslavia between $135-140 million and took six years of intensive preparation. ABC paid a big part of the bill -- $140 million for worldwide TV rights while some 1.4 million Yugoslavs, who earn only an average $160 a month and suffer from nearly 60 percent inflation, put up $10 million. Millions more came from corporate sponsors.


Branko Mikulic, president of the organizing committee, said Sarajevo would conclude the Games without a deficit, but exact figures won't be available until the end of the year.

Sarajevo's residents, who opened 16,000 of their homes for visitors and gave 2 percent of their salaries to help pay for the Games, hope the investment will pay off by making their town a European ski competition site and a winter tourist resort.

In preparation, they've increased hotel capacity from 2,000 to 7,500 beds, including a new flashy yellow Holiday Inn soon to be filled with stateside conventioneers.

One immediate benefit is an estimated $80-100 million spent by tourists and companies using valuable Western currencies. Local residents have already bought up the high-rise apartments in the newly constructed Olympic athletes' and press village.

Compared to the last Games in Lake Placid, where bus troubles forced officials to declare a state of emergency and seal the town, Sarajevo has been a model of efficency. The worst problem was some missing pine needles on the women's ski course, which forced a one-day postponement.

The military stayed in its barracks and the local police, joined by Yugoslavs used to self-policing, kept the peace. Cab drivers often refused tips and restaurateurs who dared to cheat on dinner bills -- like one who charged actor Kirk Douglas 10 times the real bill -- found themselves quickly closed.


But it was the friendliness, the smiles of the Yugosla?

Latest Headlines


Follow Us