| Event type

Large Hill, Individual, Men

Date23 February 1988
LocationCanada Olympic Park, Calgary
Participants55 from 18 countries
FormatTwo jumps, with both scored on distance and form.
Olympic Record 117.0 / Jouko Törmänen FIN / 23 February 1980
117.0 / Hansjörg Sumi SUI / 23 February 1980
Judge #1Georges GottardiSUI
Judge #2Sulo KuronenFIN
Judge #3Ernie MarchioriCAN
Judge #4Don BurdickUSA
Judge #5Karol StrbaTCH
DetailsK-Point: 114 m

Already having won the Olympic title on the normal hill Finland’s Matti Nykänen was a clear favourite to retain the title he had won in Sarajevo. Away from the Finn the picture was not so clear as the expected challengers from Norway, Austria and East Germany had faltered on the smaller hill and others, notably Pavel Ploc and his Czechoslovak teammates, had excelled where the more favoured failed. Strong winds meant that the competition had to be postponed on four occasions but when it was eventually held Nykänen’s first jump of 120.5 m was the longest ever recorded in Olympic competition and virtually ensured that he would win the gold medal. The strong Norwegian tradition was upheld by Erik Johnsen who finished second a week after placing 41st in on the normal hill. Just 0.2 of a point behind Johnsen was Matjaž Debelak, the first Yugoslav ski jumper to win an Olympic title.

Dead last was the eccentric Briton Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards who narrowly avoided the embarrassment of scoring half the points of the penultimate finisher. It needs to be pointed out though that the next-to-last jumper, Todd Gillman of Canada, had fallen on his second jump.

The stories of Eddie Edwards and Matti Nykänen have come together and moved apart over the decades. The fame gained by their Olympic appearances was exploited to the point where both men reached the top of the Finnish pop charts but financial problems were to haunt them throughout the nineties. This is where the stories part company. Eddie Edwards recovered from bankruptcy, became a qualified lawyer and shares his time between the law, the building industry, his wife and children and the celebrity circuit. Nykänen’s life spiraled into alcoholism and violence and in 2004 he was convicted of assault when he stabbed a friend after an argument over a finger pulling competition. Married five times Nykänen has also served prison time for domestic violence and at one point was reduced to working as a stripper.

PosCompetitorNOCPointsJump #1Jump #2
1Matti NykänenFIN224.0120.8 (1)103.2 (1)Gold
2Erik JohnsenNOR207.9113.7 (2)94.2 (5)Silver
3Matjaž DebelakYUG207.7107.6 (9)100.1 (2)Bronze
4Thomas KlauserFRG205.1111.7 (4)93.4 (7)
5Pavel PlocTCH204.1112.7 (3)91.4 (11)
6Andreas FelderAUT203.9110.3 (5)93.6 (6)
7Horst BulauCAN197.6109.4 (7)88.2 (15)
8Staffan TällbergSWE196.6104.9 (11)91.7 (=9)
9Matjaž ZupanYUG195.8110.0 (6)85.8 (19)
10Miran TepešYUG194.898.4 (21)96.4 (3)
11Jari PuikkonenFIN194.699.3 (18)95.3 (4)
12Heinz KuttinAUT193.5108.2 (8)85.3 (21)
13Piotr FijasPOL192.699.9 (15)92.7 (8)
14Ladislav DluhošTCH189.599.2 (=19)90.3 (12)
15Jon Inge KjørumNOR189.299.2 (=19)90.0 (13)
16Ari-Pekka NikkolaFIN189.097.3 (24)91.7 (=9)
17Ole Christian EidhammerNOR187.9104.8 (12)83.1 (24)
18Jan BoklövSWE185.499.5 (17)85.9 (18)
19Vegard OpaasNOR185.299.8 (16)85.4 (20)
20Günther StrannerAUT184.9106.7 (10)78.2 (33)
21Anders DaunSWE183.195.2 (29)87.9 (16)
=22Per-Inge TällbergSWE181.897.8 (23)84.0 (22)
=22Remo LedererGDR181.898.1 (22)83.7 (23)
24Jiří MalecTCH181.2101.0 (14)80.2 (31)
=25Peter RohweinFRG177.696.3 (26)81.3 (29)
=25Didier MollardFRA177.6101.1 (13)76.5 (35)
27Christian HauswirthSUI177.194.9 (30)82.2 (27)
28Ernst VettoriAUT176.694.1 (=31)82.5 (26)
29Jiří ParmaTCH175.389.2 (35)86.1 (17)
30Gérard BalancheSUI172.695.4 (28)77.2 (34)
31Jens WeißflogGDR172.095.7 (27)76.3 (=37)
32Mike HollandUSA170.696.9 (25)73.7 (42)
33Akira SatoJPN170.288.4 (36)81.8 (28)
34Andi BauerFRG169.994.1 (=31)75.8 (40)
35Steve CollinsCAN169.187.9 (38)81.2 (30)
36Josef HeumannFRG167.190.7 (33)76.4 (36)
37Jan KowalPOL164.389.7 (34)74.6 (41)
38Pekka SuorsaFIN163.483.7 (44)79.7 (32)
39Sandro SambugaroITA161.685.4 (=41)76.2 (39)
=40Primož UlagaYUG161.072.2 (54)88.8 (14)
=40Emil ZografskiBUL161.088.0 (37)73.0 (43)
42Mark KonopackeUSA160.283.9 (43)76.3 (=37)
43Fabrice PiazziniSUI156.973.9 (52)83.0 (25)
44Christoph LehmannSUI153.287.3 (39)65.9 (46)
45Virginio LunardiITA150.985.4 (=41)65.5 (47)
46Vladimir BreychevBUL147.586.5 (40)61.0 (50)
47Shinichi TanakaJPN147.383.0 (45)64.3 (48)
48Masaru NagaokaJPN146.082.5 (46)63.5 (49)
49Chris HastingsUSA145.174.0 (51)71.1 (44)
50Ted LangloisUSA142.875.9 (50)66.9 (45)
51Bernat SolaESP139.378.5 (49)60.8 (51)
52Katsushi TaoJPN138.278.8 (48)59.4 (52)
53Ron RichardsCAN128.173.6 (53)54.5 (53)
54Todd GillmanCAN110.880.8 (47)30.0 (54)
55Eddie EdwardsGBR57.530.0 (55)27.5 (55)
DNSMikhail YesinURS
DNSFrédéric BergerFRA
DNSEduard SubochURS