The 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics provided some wonderful highs and disheartening lows….which is typical of any Olympic Games…..for the talent is so expansive….causing the challenges to be greater and the risks to be higher.
The figure skating pairs competition short program at these 1988 Calgary Games certainly provided one of these wonderful highs….as the USA pairs Jil Watson and Peter Oppegard broke the Russian choke hold on the world….while keeping the USSR from sweeping the pairs competition….by finishing a surprising 3rd place after the short program….and holding off the eventual 4th place Soviet team of Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Makarov….to take the Bronze Medal….which was definitely a wonderful high for the USA and Watson + Oppegard.
However, in the men’s 500m race in speed skating….which took place on 14 February at the Olympic Oval….while facing existing records prior to this competition of the World Record by USA Nick Thometz in a time of 36.55….set at Heerenveen, Netherlands on March 19, 1987….along with Eric Heiden’s existing Olympic record of 38.03 in the 500m race at the Lake Placid Olympics on February 15, 1980….as East Germany’s Uwe-Jens Mey would set a new WR and OR of 36.45….but the disheartening low of the day was when USA Dan Jansen….the unquestionable favorite going into this event….would fall on the final turn of what was a potential world and olympic record race….a day that Jansen’s sister had passed away….as the American raced with a heavy heart…..that got broke on the wall of the Olympic Oval on this day.
This video is such a wonderful expression of what sports are all about….for this is a subject that we have heard from Bone Daddy regarding why the Olympics are at the top with the very best at providing stories that support the power, value and influence that being involved in sports has on humanity. It is a great venue for humanity….fields of fair play….by the rules….as there are very few places where the playing fields of life are actually level to all who want to be involved in sports….and this video supports that concept….as many of our Olympics videos in our library do.