Host City: Calgary, Canada
Date Started: February 13, 1988
Date Finished: February 28, 1988
Participants: 265 (265 men and 0 women) from 12 countries
Youngest Participant: Hans Sulzer (18 years, 53 days)
Oldest Participant: André Peloffy (36 years, 354 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 65 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 3 countries with 1 medal
The 1988 Olympic matches took place in the Olympic Saddledome (home of the NHL's Calgary Flames), the Stampede Corral (former home of the Calgary Stampeders and the Flames), and the smaller Father David Bauer Olympic Arena. For the first time in history, professional players were allowed to compete. This hardly affected the competition, as NHL teams did not allow their players to leave for two weeks to play in the Winter Olympics. Only in 1998 would an agreement be reached to shutdown the NHL for the duration of the Games.
The format was similar to 1984 and 1988 with the 12 teams separated into two pools, which played a round-robin series of matches. The top three teams from each pool advanced to the medal pool, which played another round-robin tournament, although game results between any two teams from the preliminary pools were carried over. For the first time, the lower places were decided by a series of classification matches. The fourth-place finishers in the pools met to contest 7th-8th places, with the fifth-place finishers contesting 9th-10th, and the sixth-place finishers matching to decide 11th-12th place.