Winter Olympics Through the Years: 1988

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff


A record 1,750 athletes from 57 nations came to western Canada for the first winter Olympics north of the U.S. border. The Games featured an indoor speed skating oval and sporadic chinook winds that sent temperatures into the unwintry 70s.

Matti Nykänen of Finland became the first pure ski jumper to capture three titles, winning gold medals at 70 and 90 meters and adding a third in the new team jumping competition.

Nykänen may have been the most decorated jumper in Calgary, but he wasn't the most celebrated. That honor belonged to Michael (Eddie the Eagle) Edwards, the accident-prone flying plasterer from Britain. Edwards finished 58th and last in the 70–meter jump and 55th and last in the 90–meter and was welcomed home after the Games by hundreds of fans at London's Heathrow Airport.

Back on the serious side, Dutch speed skater Yvonne van Gennip won three gold medals; East German figure skater Katarina Witt won her second straight women's title; and the USSR beat East Germany in both gold and overall medals in the last winterized confrontation of Communist superpowers.

Top 10 Standings

National medal standings are not recognized by the IOC. The unofficial point totals are based on 3 points for a gold medal, 2 for a silver and 1 for a bronze. Total medals are in parentheses.

1USSR (29)119960
2East Germany (25)910653
3Switzerland (15)55530
4Austria (10)35221
5Finland (7)41216
 West Germany (8)24216
7Netherlands (7)32215
8Sweden (6)40214
9USA (6)21311
10Italy (5)21210

Leading Medal Winners

Number of individual medals won on the left; gold, silver and bronze breakdown to the right.


No SportG-S-B
3Matti Nykänen, FINSki Jump3-0-0
3Valery Medvedtsev, USSRBiathlon1-2-0
3Vladimir Smirnov, USSRX-country0-2-1
2Alberto Tomba, ITAAlpine2-0-0
2Frank-Peter Rötsch, E. Ger.Biathlon2-0-0
2Gunde Svan, SWEX-country2-0-0
2Tomas Gustafson, SWESp. Skate2-0-0
2Hubert Strolz, AUTAlpine1-1-0
2Mikhail Deviatiarov, USSRX-country1-1-0
2Hippolyt Kempf, SWINordic Comb.1-1-0
2Jens-Uwe Mey, E. Ger.Sp. Skate1-1-0
2Alexei Prokurorov, USSRX-country1-1-0
2Sergei Chepikov, USSRBiathlon1-0-1
2Ianis Kipours, USSRBobsled1-0-1
2Vladimir Kozlov, USSRBobsled1-0-1
2Franck Piccard, FRAAlpine1-0-1
2Pirmin Zurbriggen, SWIAlpine1-0-1
2Wolfgang Hoppe, E. Ger.Bobsled0-2-0
2Bogdan Musiol, E. Ger. Bobsled0-2-0
2Matjaz Debelak, YUGSki Jump0-1-1
2Michael Hadschieff, AUTSp. Skate0-1-1
2Erik Johnsen, NORSki Jump0-1-1
2Klaus Sulzenbacher, AUTNordic Comb.0-1-1
2Leo Visser, NEDSp. Skate0-1-1
2Johann Passler, ITABiathlon0-0-2


No SportG-S-B
3Yvonne van Gennip, NEDSp. Skating3-0-0
3Tamara Tikhonova, USSRX-country2-1-0
3Marjo Matikänen, FINX-country1-0-2
3Andrea Ehrig, E. Ger.Sp. Skating0-2-1
3Karin Kania, E. Ger.Sp. Skating0-2-1
2Vreni Schneider, SWIAlpine2-0-0
2Anfissa Reztsova, USSRX-country1-1-0
2Christa Rothenburger, E. Ger.Sp. Skate1-1-0
2Bonnie Blair, USASp. Skate1-0-1
2Vida Ventsene, USSRX-country1-0-1
2Brigitte Oertli, SWIAlpine0-2-0
2Christa Kinshofer, W. Ger.Alpine0-1-1
2Raisa Smetanina, USSRX-country0-1-1
2Karen Percy, CANAlpine0-0-2
2Maria Walliser, SWIAlpine0-0-2
2Gabi Zange, E. Ger.Sp. Skate0-0-2

Alpine Skiing


Event  Time
DownhillPirmin Zurbriggen, SWI1:59.63
SlalomAlberto Tomba, ITA1:39.47
G.SlalomAlberto Tomba, ITA2:06.37
Super GSFranck Piccard, FRA1:39.66
CombinedHubert Strolz, AUT36.55 pts


Event  Time
DownhillMarina Kiehl, W. Ger.1:25.86
SlalomVreni Schneider, SWI1:36.69
G.SlalomVreni Schneider, SWI2:06.49
Super GSSigrid Wolf, AUT1:19.03
CombinedAnita Wachter, AUT29.25 pts


Event  MTAdj.Time
10kmFrank-Peter Rötsch, E. Ger.125:08.1
20kmFrank-Peter Rötsch, E. Ger.356:33.3
4x7.5kmUSSR (Vasiliev, Chepikov,
Popov, Medvedtsev)


Event  Time
2-ManUSSR (Janis Kipours & Vladimir Kozlov)3:53.48
4-ManSWI (Ekkehard Fasser, Kurt Meier, Marcel Fässler, Werner Stocker)3:47.51

Figure Skating

Event  Points
MenBrian Boitano, USA3.0
WomenKatarina Witt, E. Ger.4.2
PairsEkaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov, USSR1.4
DanceNatalya Bestemianova & Andrei Bukin, USSR2.0

Ice Hockey

Medal Round

(Overall records in parentheses)

1USSR (7-1-0)54-1-08257
2Finland (5-2-1)53-1-171810
3Sweden (4-1-3)52-1-261516
4Canada (5-2-1)55-2-151714
5West Germany (4-4-0)51-4-02826
6Czecholsovakia (4-4-0)51-4-021222
Note: Games against common opponents carried over from the preliminary round. The USSR lost its final game to Finland, 2–1, after clinching the gold medal.
Also: The U.S. finished 4th in its preliminary pool with a 2–3 record. The top three teams in each of two 6–team pools qualified for the medal round.



Event  Time
1-SeatJens Müller, E. Ger.3:05.548
2-SeatJoerg Hoffmann
& Jochen Pietzsch, E. Ger.


Event  Time
1-SeatSteffi Martin Walter, E. Ger.3:03.973

Nordic Skiing


Cross Country

Event  Time
15 kmMikhail Deviatiarov, USSR41:18.9
30 kmAlexei Prokurorov, USSR1:24:26.3
50 kmGunde Svan, SWE2:04:30.9
4x10 kmSWE (Ottosson, Wassberg, 
 Svan, Mogren)1:43:58.6

Ski Jumping

Event  Points
70mMatti Nykänen, FIN229.1
90mMatti Nykänen, FIN224.0
TeamFIN (Nikkola, Nykänen,  
 Ylipulli, Puikkonen)634.4

Nordic Combined

Event Points
Indiv.Hippolyt Kempf, SWI432.23
TeamW. Ger. (Pohl, Schwarz, Müller)792.08


Cross Country

Event  Time
5kmMarjo Matikänen, FIN15:04.0
10kmVida Ventsene, USSR30:08.3
20kmTamara Tikhonova, USSR55:53.6
4x5kmUSSR (Nagueikina, Gavriliuk, 
 Tikhonova, Reztsova)59:51.1

Speed Skating


Event  Time  
500mJens-Uwe Mey, E. Ger.36.45WR
1000mNikolai Gouliaev, USSR1:13.03OR
1500mAndré Hoffmann, E. Ger.1:52.06WR
5000mTomas Gustafson, SWE6:44.63WR
10,000mTomas Gustafson, SWE13:48.20WR


Event  Time  
500mBonnie Blair, USA39.10WR
1000mChrista Rothenburger, E. Ger.1:17.65WR
1500mYvonne van Gennip, NED2:00.68OR
3000mYvonne van Gennip, NED4:11.94WR
5000mYvonne van Gennip, NED7:14.13WR
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