Between Games, Gustafson struggled through knee surgery, meningitis and the death of his father. During 5,000m race at the Olympic Games in Calgary in 1988, Gustafson trailed Leo Visser's pace by eight hundredths of a second with only 400m to go. However he skated an exceptional final lap to win by a third of a second. In the 10,000m, Gustafson finally gained an easy victory, setting a world record and winning by almost eight seconds.
In 1998, Gustafson's wife, Elisabet, won a bronze medal in curling.