The 1988 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XV Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in Calgary, Alberta and opened by the 23rd Governor General of Canada: Jeanne Sauvé.
1988 was the last year that the Winter Paralympics and the Winter Olympics were held in separate cities; all subsequent Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have been hosted by the same city, starting with 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. These Winter Olympics were also the last time the teams from both the Soviet Union and East Germany competed as distinct National Olympic Committees or NOCs.
As at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, the Canadian team failed to win a gold medal, matching only former Yugoslavia in the dubious distinction of not having won an Olympic winter gold medal on home soil.
The instrumental theme song ("Winter Games") and its vocal counterpart ("Can't You Feel It?") were both composed and performed by Canadian musician, David Foster, of Victoria, British Columbia. The official mascots of the games were two western-attired polar bears named Hidy and Howdy. The names were chosen from a field of 7,000 names through a contest sponsored by the Calgary Zoo. They were designed by Sheila Scott of Great Scott Productions, and produced by International Mascot Corporation of Edmonton, Alberta.
A record of 57 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) entered athletes at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.
It was the first Winter Olympic Games for Fiji, Guam, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Netherlands Antilles.