Host City: Calgary, Canada
Venue(s): Canada Olympic Park, Calgary
Date Started: February 14, 1988
Date Finished: February 14, 1988
Format: Two jumps, with both scored on distance and form.
The two dominant forces in ski jumping throughout the eighties were Finland’s Matti Nykänen and Jens Weißflog and in their first Olympic meeting in 1984 the two men had shared the honours with each winning a gold and silver apiece. Neither Nykänen or Weißflog held the world title, that championship having been won by Czechoslovakia’s Jiří Parma in 1985 but Nykänen would arrive at Calgary as the holder of the prestigious Four Hills tournament. Norwegian hopes were pinned on World Cup holder Vegard Opaas whilst the Austrian pairing of Andreas Felder and Ernst Vettori had been consistently amongst the world’s best since the last Olympic Games.
After the completion of the first round the leader board had a strange look to it. It may have been no surprise to find Nykänen in the gold medal position but the top fifteen included only one Austrian, no Germans from either side of the border and no Norwegians. Weißflog did make the lower region of the top twenty but Opaas, the top Norwegian, languished all the way down in twenty-sixth place. Czechoslovakian and Yugoslavian jumpers were the top performers on the first jump with the two nations combining to produce eight of the top thirteen at the half way mark.
Nykänen’s second jump was a copy of his first and no one could challenge the mastery of the twenty four year old Finn. If there was little drama in the challenge for the Olympic title the same could not be said of the other medals with less than a point covering the next three jumpers. Pavel Ploc maintained the excellent form he had shown on the World Cup circuit to narrowly place second ahead of his less well known team-mate Jiří Malec. While Nykänen’s feat was covered widely by the world’s press another jumper equaled him in terms of media coverage. Eddie Edwards was a British ski jumper who had only two years of jumping behind him and was, at 74 kg and wearing a thick pair of spectacles, an unlikely competitor. His two jumps, both of 55 m, were well behind even of those of the next-to-last jumper.
|9||Jens Weißflog||23||East Germany||GDR||196.6|
|18||Mark Konopacke||24||United States||USA||188.2|
|19||Ole Christian Eidhammer||22||Norway||NOR||186.7|
|21||Remo Lederer||19||East Germany||GDR||185.2|
|22||Ole Gunnar Fidjestøl||27||Norway||NOR||184.4|
|29||Andi Bauer||24||West Germany||FRG||177.5|
|31||Josef Heumann||23||West Germany||FRG||176.4|
|33||Mike Holland||26||United States||USA||174.6|
|38||Eduard Suboch||18||Soviet Union||URS||173.6|
|39||Mikhail Yesin||20||Soviet Union||URS||171.6|
|43||Dennis McGrane||25||United States||USA||169.8|
|47||Thomas Klauser||23||West Germany||FRG||165.1|
|54||Rick Mewborn||22||United States||USA||158.6|
|55||Dieter Thoma||18||West Germany||FRG||154.1|
|58||Eddie Edwards||24||Great Britain||GBR||69.2|