Calgary 2026 Interim Report Outlines Progress Towards Potential Olympic Bid

Olympic Saddledome in Calgary, Canada - host of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games (Wikipedia Photo)

Olympic Saddledome in Calgary, Canada – host of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games (Wikipedia Photo)

The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC) Monday publicly released its interim report to outline the Committee’s work with Calgarians towards a potential bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“The CBEC Board and staff are working to explore every aspect of a potential bid and how it could impact our city,” said Rick Hanson, Chair of the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee.

“As we learn more about the priorities of Calgarians, we are realizing how important it is that any potential bid for the Games aligns with Calgary’s vision for the future.”

The CBEC will also be releasing a Report to the Community that will provide highlights of the interim report related to CBEC’s five main work streams, as well as introduce some new concepts and insights into the Committee’s progress to date.

The report is a partial draft of the final document set to be delivered in July before the city, along with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), determine whether to forward a formal bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host for the first time since 1988.

The exploration committee that was set up last September with a CDN $4.7 million budget is divided into five subcommittees including master facilities planning, public engagement and community impact, government and stakeholder relations, security and risk and finance and investment.

“The depth of community feedback, financial analysis, facilities and security review have been intensive. It is impressive to be part of such a detail oriented group of volunteers and staff engaged in this analysis,” says Vice-Chair, Scott Thon.

The interim document released Monday lists pages of information about the methods and process used to conduct the study but is noticeably void of any financial analysis in terms of costs, budgets and legacy details.   Those figures will be included in the final report.

CBEC’s work is still underway and the Committee has yet to arrive at a recommendation.  The group plans to release more of its emerging views with citizens over the next several weeks before the final report will be presented to City Council at the end of July.

At that time the CBEC will forward a recommendation on whether or not Calgary should proceed with a bid.

The report indicates that the CBEC is already in contact with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as it moves forward.  It stated “there is the addition of a ‘Pre-Invitation Phase’, not included in previous candidature processes, which essentially just allows for IOC Games Development staff to be liaising with prospective candidate cities on a regular basis to ensure prospective candidate cities are as fully informed regarding the Candidature Process as possible.”

The CBEC expects to receive IOC guidelines for the 2026 Games in June.

Calgary last hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1988

Calgary last hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1988

Canada has hosted two Winter Games, in Calgary in 1988 and Vancouver in 2010.  The nation hosted the Summer Olympics in Montreal in 1976.

Sion, Switzerland is the only city to have received an official nomination from its National Olympic Committee to bid for the 2026 Games when the IOC begins to collect applications early in 2018.  Last week Stockholm’s Mayor said the city would end plans to pursue a bid because the IOC’s financial contribution was not yet disclosed.

Former Olympic hosts Innsbruck, Lillehammer and Sapporo have also been investigating possible bids as well as Erzurum in Turkey and 2022 runner-up Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The IOC will accept applications to host the Games early in 2018 and will elect a host city in 2019.

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.