How the 1988 Olympics in Calgary

Calgary disposed of time and investment very competently, the largest sports facilities were built – Olympic Oval and Canadian Olympic park. The former became a field for ice hockey and speed skating, while the latter hosted competitions in toboggan, ski racing, ski jumping and snowboarding. After the end of the games, the facilities became training bases for athletes and places of rest for citizens and tourists.

The emblem of the Olympics was stylized under snowflake maple leaf, the symbol of Canada. Figures of two polar bears, Heidi and Howdy, were chosen as the games’ mascots. The opening address of the Calgary Winter Olympics was delivered by the Governor General of Canada Jeanne Sauvé.

1423 athletes from 57 countries participated in this Olympics. Athletes from warm countries such as the Antilles, Guatemala, Fiji and Jamaica have come to the Winter Games for the first time. It was the last Olympics at which the USSR national team and two German national teams competed. 46 sets of awards were contested in 11 sports.

The Calgary Olympics was remembered for new sports, which featured showpiece performances. They are freestyle, short track and curling, becoming full Olympic disciplines at the following Games. In addition, for the first time, new ski disciplines were included in the program — the alpine double and the slalom supergiant. Women competed in the 5000 metres in speed skating for the first time.

The Calgary Olympics received a new 16-day format that applies until today. Several technological sports novelties were tried at this Olympics — “light” skates made of vinyl and improved designs of beans and sleds. The

heroes of the games were Finnish jumper Matti Nykanen and Dutch speed skater Yvonne van Gennip, who were three times gold medalists. Two gold medals each were won by Soviet skier Tamara Tikhonova, Swiss alpine skier Freni Schneider, Swedish skier Gunde Swan, Swedish speed skier Thomas Gustafson and Italian alpine skier Alberto Tomba. Prince Albert of Monaco made his debut in the bobsleigh tournament.

In the all-team competition the first place was taken by the national team of the USSR, taking 29 medals, 11 of which were gold. The GDR athletes were the second, and the Swiss national team were the third. The hosts of the games were limited to 5 medals, among which there were no gold.

Leave a Comment