The stories I remember best from the Olympics that year aren't of the gold medalists, but rather of Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican bobsled team. Eddie the Eagle was the only applicant for the British ski jump team. His geekiness and and poor ability endeared him to the public, but many athletes and Olympics officials felt he made a mockery of the event. Following the '88 Olympics a new rule (the Eddie the Eagle rule, as it's referred to) was made requiring all Olympic athletes to have placed in the top half of an international event before participating in the Olympics.
The Jamaican Bobsled team also got a lot of attention as a human interest story. Their story was later made into the Disney movie Cool Runnings starring Canadian John Candy.
My self portrait today is taken at Canada Olympic Park (C.O.P.). It is in the middle of Calgary, just north west of the city center. Behind me are the ski jumps from the Olympics. The '88 Winter Olympics turned a profit and left Calgary with infrastructure that my family enjoys regularly (as I learned from Wikipedia):
Olympic Oval - for speed skating, which was the first time in Olympic history where the event took place indoors under climate controlled conditions - I've skated there with my kids as a field trip every year for 9 years
Olympic Saddledome - Indoor arena for figure skating and ice hockey competitions (construction had already begun prior to the Games being awarded to Calgary) It's now the home ice for the Calgary Flames (NHL)
Canada Olympic Park - Ski jumping, bobsleigh, luge, Nordic combined, freestyle skiing (aerials and ballet), disabled alpine skiing
Canmore Nordic Centre - Cross-country skiing, biathlon, Nordic combined, blind cross-country skiing
Max Bell Centre - Curling and short-track speed skating
McMahon Stadium - opening and closing ceremonies - now our football stadium
Nakiska - Alpine skiing, freestyle moguls skiing
Stampede Corral - Figure skating and ice hockey (secondary venue)
Father David Bauer Olympic Arena - Ice hockey (secondary venue)
I didn't consider myself to be athletic or sporty growing up, but I sure like being active with my kids and I enjoy the legacy facilities from the Olympics regularly. Last night we finished up a month of night shift ski lessons at C.O.P. How great is it that we can go skiing for the evening?
Chloe got her first experience skiing this year at her C.O.P. lessons. She's having so much fun! Spring skiing may be the time to learn, because the soft warm snow is slowing her down, and letting her control her turns.
Carmen is one of the youngest kids in her class. She's now working on parallel skiing - giving up the 'pizza' shape beginners make by pointing their ski tips together at the front.
Steven is a good skier, and really wanted to try snowboarding, so he took beginner snowboarding lessons this month. He says he likes it better than skiing, but I'm sure that's influenced by the fact that all of his friends board rather than ski. I don't know if I'll ever see him on skis again.