15. Olympic Winter Games
Olympic Medals in the games of 1988 in Calgary
138 Medals in 10 Sports in 46 Events
From 13.2. until 28.2. Calgary was the first Canadian host city at winter games. The first Summer Olympics in Montreal were held in Canada 12 years earlier. 57 nations competed for the medals in 46 competitions. The most successful nations were the Soviet Union and the GDR for the fifth time in a row. Switzerland was in third place. As with the 1976 home games in Montreal, the Canadian team was unable to win a gold medal in their own country. Fourth place in ice hockey certainly hurt the most.
The most successful athletes were the Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykänen and the Dutch speed skater, both of whom won 3 gold medals. Both were at the height of their careers. It is tragic that Nykänen became increasingly addicted to alcohol. At the end of his sporting career, he was most successful with 46 World Cup victories, later he was replaced by Gregor Schlierenzauer. Nykänen tried as a pop singer and as a stripper. Three marriages failed. In 2004, he was sentenced to 26 months in prison for stabbing a friend. Then he had a heart attack, from which he recovered well. In 2006, he was sentenced to four months' imprisonment for ill-treating his fourth wife. In 2009 he attacked his wife again and was sentenced to 16 months in prison. In 2014 he married for the fifth time. He was diagnosed with diabetes in 2018, but continued to give in to his alcohol addiction. Nykänen died at the age of 55.
In addition to Nykänen, a second ski jumper made headlines: Michael Edwards from Great Britain. He was by far the worst athlete, with his jumps he only ever managed the stem of the hill, which he then drove down instead of skipping it. But the audience loved him and he was nicknamed "Eddie the Eagle". In 2016, a film about his life story even came to the cinema.
The second outsiders who made it to the cinema were the participants in the Jamaican bob team. After successfully qualifying, they took part in the Olympic Games for the first time. They fought their way bravely through the ice channel and were thirtieth over ten seconds behind the winners in the final two-man bobsleigh, but they had left eleven teams behind. The four-man bob was not so successful. In the third run he overturned, lying on his side, scratching his safety helmet on the ice rink, the bob and the crew slipped to the finish. The pictures went around the world. In 1993 the film "Cool Runnings" was released after this event. Katarina Witt repeated her Olympic figure skating victory; after her sports career, she was also seen on television and various films.
It is worth mentioning that Christa Luding-Rothenburger, starting for the GDR in Calgary, won over 1000m Olympic champion and over 500m silver in speed skating. In the same year 1988 she also competed in the Summer Games in Seoul in the sprint and won the silver medal. In Olympic history there are only five athletes who have won medals in both winter and summer games. However, Christa Luding-Rothenburger is the only one who did it in the same year!