Olympic Alpine skiing added a men's and women's super-giant slalom, and re-introduced a men's and women's Alpine combined, after a 36-year hiatus. In Nordic skiing events, team competitions were added to ski jumping and the Nordic combined. Jamaica made its Winter Olympic debut with a four-man bobsled team and, although it was not foreseen, Soviet athletes would be competing under the hammer and sickle for the last time.
Speedskater Bonnie Blair of the United States had her work cut out for her after East German favorite Christa Rothenburger-Luding broke her own world record time in the 500m event. Blair rose to the challenge, breaking the world record that Rothenburger-Luding had just set moments before by two one-hundredths of a second, and thus winning the gold.
Billed by the media as the "Battle of the Brians," the competition between figure skaters Brian Boitano (United States) and Brian Orser (Canada) provided for high drama at the Calgary Games. Entering the competitions final program, the two were virtually in a dead head score wise. In the end, Boitano's flawless performance in the long program earned him the gold medal. Orser took the silver, while the bronze went to a future gold medalist, Viktor Petrenko of the Soviet Union.
Italian Alpine skier Alberto Tomba burst onto the scene in 1988, winning a pair of gold medals in the slalom and giant slalom events.
Matti Nykanen (Finland) emerged as a
new king of the ski jumping at Calgary.
Following up on his gold medal performance
in the 90m hill at Sarajevo in 1984,
Nykanen took home three golds in the 90m
hill, 70m hill and team ski jumping events.
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