Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Déjà 20 ans!

It's hard to believe that its been 20 years since Elizabeth Manley won a silver medal at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Boy do I feel old!

I was 8 at the time, and I can still remember watching her performance with my Mom... and both us getting so excited that she did well enough to win a silver medal. The photo of her biting into the silver medal is one that I have always remembered. I was a figure skater at the time... and just seeing Elizabeth Manley do so well at the Olympics really inspired me - I guess we won't dwell on the fact that her inspiration only last a few years before I ditched figure skating altogether as my competitive curling career took-off (if can even say that!).

At any rate... what a great year that was for Canada's Figure Skating team, not only was Elizabeth Manley a hero in the hearts of Canadians, who can forget the Battle of the Brians that year as well - Brian Bottano vs. Brian Orser... with Canada's Brian Orser finishing second. And in Ice Dancing, a bronze medal was awarded to pair skaters Tracey Wilson and the late Rob McCall.
On the whole the 1988 Olympics didn't prove to be very successful for the country, as we only took home 5 medals in total, none of which were gold: three medals in figure skating, and the other two went to Karen Percy in Downhill Skiing.

However, in 20 years time, I would say we have really evolved as a sporting nation on the international scene... perhaps we've suffered on the figure skating front lately, but I have no doubt that we will have good competitors for that event in 2010.

Today, Elizabeth resides in Ottawa (of all places), and coaches Figure Skating to all ages in Orleans. She is still giving back to a sport that gave her so much so many years ago.

To watch her silver medal performance see the video below (it's not crystal clear but you can still see how well she preformed that night - Amazing!).

Do you remember: the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics...? The silver medal performance of Elizabeth Manley? Or any other highlights from that Olympic games?

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