Calgary, the only other Canadian city to host a Winter Olympics, is still benefitting from the legacy of the ’88 Games.
Its National Sports School, which was funded by the profits of the Olympics, is a one-of-a-kind institution meant to allow athletes to train without having to sacrifice high school, and has pumped out medal-winning athletes since its inception.
“Athletes are moving from all across the country to come to Calgary because it’s a city where the facilities are,” said Calgarian Kyle Shewfelt, who attended NSS and later went on to win Canada’s first gold medal in gymnastics.
He said you can still get the feeling of “Olympism” in Calgary, adding that the “Olympics are the most powerful movement in the world” and inspire people.
Jennessa Kemp, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student at NSS said, “If (the Olympics) hadn’t happened, I probably wouldn’t be speedskating in the first place.”
She pointed out that even the trains in Calgary’s light rail system still have the ’88 symbol on them.
Cam Hodgson, principal of NSS said, “We’ve picked up the torch and carried it.”
He says that more than 20 athletes on Team Canada in the 2006 Winter Olympics had been through the school, and he hopes that as many as 40 past and current students end up on Team Canada in 2010.