Host City: Calgary, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Saddledome, Calgary; Stampede Corral, Calgary
Date Started: February 21, 1988
Date Finished: February 23, 1988
Format: The couples were ranked on Ordinal Placement, based on judges' points, with final placement for each section determined by Majority Placements. Thus, if a skater was ranked first by a majority of the judges, that skater was placed first overall for that section, with the tiebreakers being Required Elements for the Original Set Pattern Dance, and Artistic Impression for the Free Dance. Ties were broken by a Subsequent Majority rule, i.e., if the couples were ranked for the same position by the same number of judges, Majority Placement for the next higher position for each couple determined who was ranked higher. The tiebreakers were then, in order: 1) Number of Majority Placements, 2) Total Ordinals of Majority, 3) Total Ordinals. Final placement was determined by factored placements. The placement for the Compulsory Dances was factored by 0.4 (20%), the placement for the Original Set Pattern Dance was factored by 0.6 (30%), and the placement for Free Dance was factored by 1.0 (50%). The sums of the factored placements were then used to determine final placement, with the Free Dance being the tiebreaker.
With Torvill and Dean now skating professionally, the Soviets had re-established their dominance of this event, although Dean was still peripherally involved, doing the choreography for the Duchesneys of France. Nataliya Bestemyanova and Andrey Bukin were World Champions in 1985-87 and European Champs in 1985-88. They won the gold medal in Calgary easily, winning all three phases – compulsory dance, optional set pattern dance, and free dance. The silver went to another Soviet couple, Marina Klimova and Sergey Ponomarenko, who had also been second at the World for three consecutive years, while the bronze was won by the Canadians, Tracy Wilson and Rob McCall. Wilson and McCall were making a habit of that position, placing third at the 1986-87 Worlds and would again win bronze at the 1988 World Championships. Only three years later, McCall would die from AIDS, one of several prominent male figure skaters to succumb to that disease.