25 years ago, Calgary hosted the first Winter Olympic Games in Canadian history. It seems so long ago, when as a seven-year-old, I watched the world’s best athletes compete against each other in a sporting and competitive manner … in my pajamas, seated on the floor of my living room. It was to ignite a nascent interest in sport for me, which was vital to an adulthood filled with physical activity, seeing how I was raised in a household where athletic activity wasn’t emphasized.
Fast forward almost a generation later, after Canada hosted one of the most successful Olympics ever in Vancouver, and seeing how I was currently living in Calgary, it would be a travesty to leave this city in the future with seeing one of my countries’ most prized pieces of sports history.
After a scramble down a ravine, crossing the Bow River on a pedestrian bridge and a wander through the neighbourhood of Bowness, there I was on the doorstep of Canada Olympic Park. Let’s take a look around, shall we?
The slopes of Canada Olympic Park, used then and now for skiing events (not the downhill alpine races, though, those were held in the Rockies, 1 hour to the West). Nowadays, in the summertime, mountain bikers tear down the steep pistes of the Bow River Valley.
A close-up shot of the ski jumps, which can be seen at many points throughout Calgary’s NW. Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, a British skier became known forever for his heroic, yet very short jumps here, becoming a legend and inspiration to underdogs the world over!
New construction has popped up at Canada Olympic Park since the conclusion of the 1988 Olympics, as a new arena complex was constructed to play host to Team Canada’s operations in hockey. Here, a practice session for elite girl hockey players is in session on the ice below.
After remembering the excitement that unfolded 25 years ago, and seeing the tremendous Games put on in Vancouver just 3 1/2 short years ago, it stokes my fire to attend at least one Olympic Games in my lifetime.
What about you? Have you ever attended an Olympic Games in person? If you have, tell us all about in the comments, will ya?