A record 1,750 athletes from 57 nations came to western Canada for the first winter Olympics north of the U.S. border. The Games featured an indoor speed skating oval and sporadic chinook winds that sent temperatures into the unwintry 70s.
Matti Nykänen of Finland became the first pure ski jumper to capture three titles, winning gold medals at 70 and 90 meters and adding a third in the new team jumping competition.
Nykänen may have been the most decorated jumper in Calgary, but he wasn't the most celebrated. That honor belonged to Michael (Eddie the Eagle) Edwards, the accident-prone flying plasterer from Britain. Edwards finished 58th and last in the 70–meter jump and 55th and last in the 90–meter and was welcomed home after the Games by hundreds of fans at London's Heathrow Airport.
Back on the serious side, Dutch speed skater Yvonne van Gennip won three gold medals; East German figure skater Katarina Witt won her second straight women's title; and the USSR beat East Germany in both gold and overall medals in the last winterized confrontation of Communist superpowers.
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