“Let The Games Begin!” – 1988 Winter Olympics In Calgary – February 13, 1988
CBS World News Roundup – plus hourly news – February 13, 1988 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Lots going on this day – Presidential Primaries – another Regan Summit – Another incident in the Persian Gulf. But the real news was happening in Calgary, the somewhat out-of-the-way spot in Mid-Western Canada – the most watched and anticipated spot on the planet for the next two weeks. It was the 1988 Winter Olympics and it promised to be the biggest one yet. With 58 countries participating, 1700 Athletes competing and a $1 billion flowing into the coffers of the Olympic committee. The games were modeled on the Los Angeles Summer Olympics four years earlier. with huge corporate sponsorship was actually going to make money this time, which was more than could be said for some of the sponsors. Biggest loser was expected to be ABC-TV who sank $309 million into securing broadcast rights to the games and expected to lose over $50 million by the time the Olympic flame was extinguished. Today was the opening ceremonies. And after all the ballyhoo was over it was on to the serious matter of competition, medals and the weather, which was notoriously unpredictable in this part of Canada. With a wild fluctuation of 20 below one day and in the 50s the next, compliments of the warm Chinook winds blowing off the Rockies. Blizzard conditions were being forecast, 60 thousand people were expected to jam the stadium and millions were expected to tune in around the world. And so the games began.
Meanwhile – New Hampshire was the scene of much stumping, ahead of the primaries, slated to take place in just three days. So far Alexander Haig pulled out of the race, the latest polls indicated former vice-President Bush may no longer be the front runner with Bob Dole gaining from 27% to 32%, while support for Bush dropped from 35% to 29%. The Democrats were busy stumping in the freezing New Hampshire weather. It was campaign season.
And visions of the USS Stark incident flashed before the Pentagons eyes as reports an Iraqi Cruise missile fired from one of its warplanes near a tank convoy being escorted by American ships, narrowly missing the U.S. Destroyer Chandler in the Persian Gulf. The Iran-Iraq War was still raging and wayward missiles were more or less expected. But this one was a little too close for comfort and it made for concern as to how Iraq was carrying out its raids on Gulf shipping.
And while the Winter Olympics got started that’s a little of what happened, this February 13th, 1988 as reported by CBS Radio, who also reported the death of veteran CBS newsman Nelson Benton, who died earlier in the morning of a heart attack at age 63.
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