For the first time, the Olympic Winter Games were held over 16 days. The number of events increased from 39 in Sarajevo to 46 in Calgary, and among those making their debut were the super-G in alpine skiing and nordic combined team events, which had last been part of the Olympics in 1948. In all, 57 nations participated in the 1988 Winter Games, with the Soviet Union returning to the top of the medal table.
East German figure skater Katarina Witt, defended her Olympic title with a seductive performance to Bizet's Carmen. France's Franck Piccard won the gold in the new super-G event. Finland's Matti Nykanen, known as the Flying Finn‚ won all three ski jumping gold medals.