This past weekend brought Angelina Jolie and William Hague – British foreign secretary- to Sarajevo, Zenica, and Poticari. Jolie and Hague took part at a conference in the Bosnian capital on sexual violence in war, organized by the Balkan country’s defense ministry. More »
For today’s edition of Feature Friday, we bring you a local Bosnian talent and model Dina Pandzic. She was born in the industrial town of Lukavac in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina. A short time later, Bosnia declared it’s independence from former Yugoslavia following the path of Croatia and Slovenia which led to the start of the Bosnian war. More »
Semira Hoffmann has made Florida her home, but she has never forgotten her roots. Born and raised in Ljubija, a small suburb of Prijedor, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Samira has made the most of her life in America. She proudly owns five clinical centers which are spread across Seminole, Largo and Kleibert (Florida) that specifically help adults and kids in dealing with Autism More »
Three decades ago Bosnia and Herzegovina was the host country for the 1984 Winter Olympics which were held in Sarajevo. Zetra Olympic Hall was one the many winter sport activity locations and also the host for thousands of hockey fans who watched Russia (USSR) win the gold medal in men’s ice hockey.
Few of today’s generation recall ice hockey even being part if the 1984 Winter Olympics, let alone Yugoslavia having a hockey team itself and posting a 1-4 record during the tournament. However, the war in the early 90s killed ice hockey and destroyed many of the 1984 Winter Olympics venues.
It took roughly six years after the Bosnian War for local ice hockey enthusiast to form an ice hockey federation, which also gained IIHF member status the same year. Even though 2001 was the beginning of ice hockey in Bosnia, a country with less than four million people and severe economic issues, ice hockey was looked upon as a sport for the wealthy.
Fourteen years later though, things are finally looking up as Bosnia and Herzegovina is presenting its first ice hockey team to be part of a tournament organized by the IIHF. The country of less than four million inhabitants will take stage in Turkey and join six other nations for the 2015 IIHF World Championship Division III, with its first game being played on April 3rd versus North Korea.
Sheer determination has kept the ice hockey dream alive in post-war Bosnia. Even though the ice rink from the 1984 Winter Olympics was destroyed during the war, it was rebuilt in 1999 as a multifunctional arena, offering ice hockey as one of the sports, alongside general public skating and figure skating.
This has also lead to a formation of a Men’s Hockey Division in Bosnia, which features a four-team league that played 16 regular-season games plus playoffs and a cup competition in 2014. However, the most noticeable interest in hockey in Bosnia and Herzegovina comes from the women, particularly in the age group of 14-25.
Ice time continues to be a struggle, mostly due to warmer weather. However, optimism is in the air and it has lead the Men’s Hockey Division to search for alternatives as they stand the possibility of building a new ice hockey facility near the current Zetra location.