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Calgary Olympics: Home away from home

"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.

Inside the Olympic Village, athletes can eat, sleep and even dance their stress away. For the next 16 days, it will be home to the world's top competitors. The accommodations, located on the grounds of University of Calgary, are equipped with an international cafeteria, a movie theatre, a video games arcade and even a disco. As heard in this CBC Radio report, the relaxed atmosphere has Italian athletes sharing pasta they brought from home with the entire Village.
. The Olympic Village housed and fed some 1,700 people. The organizers ordered 1,500 tons of food at a total cost of $6 million. The order included:
. 1,500 pounds of hamburger.
. 260,000 eggs.
. 72,000 heads of lettuce.
. 750,000 litres of milk.
. 31,000 litres of ice cream.

. The Olympic Village was made into dormitories after the Games.

. The German and Soviet teams wanted to import their own sausages but were refused permission. The Italians were given the go-ahead to bring their own pasta after they agreed to bring 50,000 pounds; enough to feed the entire village.
. During the Calgary Games, some 20 chefs cooked up hot meals to suit every athlete's palate. (Listen to the clip for a detailed menu.)

. In 1924, the IOC held an International Sports Week in Chamonix, France. It was a great success and was retroactively named the first Olympic Winter Games. Since then, the Winter Games have been held every four years, with the exception of 1940 and 1944 (due to the Second World War). Starting in 1994, the Winter Games were no longer held in the same year as the Summer Olympics, rather two years apart.

. Charles Jewtraw of the United States won the first winter Olympic gold medal. It was in the men's 500-metre speed skating.
Medium: Radio
Program: World Report
Broadcast Date: Feb. 10, 1988
Guest(s): Barry Griffiths, Stuart Knowles, Doreen Ryan
Reporter: Neil Ford
Duration: 3:13

Last updated: February 10, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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