Old Photographs from the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary

I was always picked last in gym class, but excelling at sports isn’t a requirement for watching them, or seeing the value of athletics. Training and practice build discipline, and national and international competition promote funding for sports that can open doors to future careers.

Calgary Winter Games
1988- Aerial view of City Hall and Olympic Plaza in downtown city centre, Calgary, Alberta.

Lately, it can be hard for the International Olympic Committee to attract host cities, but for imaginative urban centres, the games are a chance to attract tourism and be a part of history. It can be a struggle, but it is a creative challenge to find lasting uses for Olympic building infrastructure.

I was too young to really remember the Calgary Winter Games, but a core memory persists of a bear wearing a cowboy hat. This checks out, as Howdy and Hidy were the twin polar bear official mascots.

Calgary Winter Games
August 1986 – Aerial View of Max Bell Arena, Calgary, Alberta

With sports there is always a little sizzle needed to sell the steak, and Olympics are rife with salacious sagas, cheating scandals, heroes and underdogs to root for. The hearts of Canadians don’t often swell with patriotic pride, but the opening and closing ceremonies, and the medal-winning hockey games are our time to shine.

When skating stars from the 1980s are now spokespersons for reversible mortgages, and past Olympians are now the centres of multi-hyphenated reality tv dynasties, we can see the lasting flickers of the power of the Olympic torch and its celebratory games.

Calgary Winter Games
1981 – Olympic rings shine on Calgary, Alberta
Calgary Winter Games
May 20-1988-Aerial view of Olympic Oval gymnasium, Calgary, Alberta
Calgary Winter Games
May 20-1988-Aerial view of Olympic Oval gymnasium, Calgary, Alberta
Calgary Winter Games
March 1988 -Aerial view of athletes and media village on Broadcast Hill CalgaryAlberta.
Calgary Winter Games
1989 – Flags and Olympic rings at McMahon Stadium, Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary Winter Games
1988-Figure Skating, Men’s Long Program, Brian Orser from Canada
1988-Closing Ceremonies, Hidy and Howdy with Hodori
1988-Cauldron Lighting at Canmore Nordic Centre, Calgary, Alberta
1988-Alpine Skiing, Men’s Downhill, Photographers Gallery
1988- Curling Pictogram
1988- Cauldron, Stampede Park, Calgary, Alberta
1988 – Closing Ceremonies, Olympic Flame
1987-Aerial View of Olympic Oval, Calgary, Alberta
1987 – Aerial View of McMahon Stadium During Construction, Calgary, Alberta
1986-Aerial View of Ski Jumps During Construction, Canada Olympic Park, Calgary, Alberta
Calgary Winter Games
1986- 1987 – Aerial View of McMahon Stadium During Football Game, Calgary, Alberta
Calgary Winter Games
1986 – Aerial view of Olympic Oval under construction, Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary Winter Games
1984 – 1987- Aerial View of Construction, Canada Olympic Park, Calgary, Alberta

 

Thanks to the Glenbow Museum Archives, the City of Calgary Archives, and the Archives Society of Alberta that hosts Alberta on Record.