CBC Digital Archives

Calgary Olympics: First Canadian ice-dancing medal

"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.

They came from opposite sides of the country with contrasting styles. Tracy Wilson of Port Moody, B.C., was a strong technical skater whereas Rob McCall of Dartmouth, N.S., was known for his artistic flair. Together they give Canada its first medal in ice dancing. The dynamic duo's dazzling routine to The Maple Leaf Rag captures the bronze, and the hearts of millions of Canadians. The day after, Wilson and McCall retrace their performance with CBC's Peter Downie.
• Couples from the Soviet Union skated to the top two places in the ice dancing competition. Natalya Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin won gold and Marina Klimova and Sergey Ponomarenko skated to silver.
• Wilson and McCall also finished third at the 1988 World Figure Skating Championships in Budapest; behind the two Soviet couples as in Calgary.
• Wilson and McCall were named Members of the Order of Canada in 1988.

• Ice dancing developed from ballroom dancing, especially the waltz. The goal of ice dancing is to demonstrate complex steps in time with the music. The skaters must maintain contact with each other, limiting lifts and jumps. Ice dancing was first introduced to the Winter Games in 1976.
• Wilson and McCall turned pro following the 1988 World Figure Skating. Their career was cut short when Rob McCall died from AIDS in 1991. Wilson went on to be a successful a sports broadcaster and an AIDS activist.
Medium: Television
Program: Midday
Broadcast Date: Feb. 24, 1988
Guest(s): Brian McCall, Tracy Wilson
Host: Peter Downie
Duration: 2:54

Last updated: April 20, 2012

Page consulted on February 12, 2014

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

The Calgary Olympics: The Winter of '88

"Everything is perfect!" That's how one IOC member described the 1988 Winter Olympics to Calga...

1988: Skater Elizabeth Manley wins Olympic si...

The Ottawa figure skater comes from behind to place second at the Calgary Olympics.

1988: Let the Calgary Games begin!

Calgary kicks off the first Winter Olympics in Canada.

Speedskater Cindy Klassen wins the Lou Marsh ...

The highest award in Canadian sports goes to speedskating champion Cindy Klassen in 2006.

Freestyle moguls skier Jennifer Heil wins Oly...

Overjoyed and grateful, Jennifer Heil talks about her Olympic victory at Turin.

Vancouver to host 2010 Olympics

Vancouver pulls off a come-from-behind victory to claim the 2010 Winter Games.