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Calgary Olympics: A reason to celebrate

"Everything is perfect!" That's how one IOC member described the 1988 Winter Olympics to Calgary Mayor Ralph Klein. Unlike the debt-drenched 1976 Montreal Olympics, Calgary was a financial success, even turning a profit. Highlights included the dramatic battle of the Brians, Elizabeth Manley's spectacular skate and ski jumper Eddie "the Eagle." The 16-day event transformed this western cow town into a city boasting top-notch sports facilities.

She was seen as a "long shot" for a medal. But on the seventh day of the Olympics, 21-year-old Karen Percy proves them all wrong. In front of a hometown crowd, the Banff, Alta. native places third in the women's downhill, capturing Canada's first medal at the 1988 Winter Games. The darling of Calgary, with her "wholesome, small town and local" appeal, tells CBC's Barbara Frum that her Olympic experience has been a dream come true. 
. Karen Percy would go on to capture another bronze medal in the super giant slalom event. (Slalom is done on a short course with many turns.) Percy won two of Canada's five medals at the 1988 Winter Games. Despite Barbara Frum's prediction that Percy will have more medals to come in her future, the Alberta skier failed to win any more Olympic medals.

. Percy is married to former Edmonton Oilers defenseman Kevin Lowe.
. Percy was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1988.
. Unseasonably warm temperature and record high winds meant many alpine skiing events had to be rescheduled. It also meant skiing events were held on artificial snow for the first time in Olympic history.

. Overall, Canadians performed poorly in alpine skiing events. Medal hopefuls Laurie Graham and Rob Boyd both failed to qualify for a medal. Graham finished fifth and Boyd placed a disappointing 16th.
. Alpine skiing events went from three events to five. The super giant slalom and the alpine combined (the combined total times for a downhill run and a slalom run)were added. Team events were added in Nordic combined (ski jumping and cross-country skiing) and ski jumping.
Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: Feb. 19, 1988
Guest(s): Karen Percy
Host: Barbara Frum
Duration: 3:11

Last updated: February 9, 2012

Page consulted on February 14, 2014

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