The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) Saturday voted to endorse Calgary’s 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid.
Coming on International Olympic Day, the unanimous decision by the COC session was an expected but necessary formality as the Alberta city continues to work towards a commitment of its own. The City Council has yet to approve the bid while a public engagement campaign is organized ahead of an expected November plebiscite.
The International Olympic Committee will name qualified candidates in October and the final decision is expected September 2019.
“This represents a very important and positive next step towards Calgary’s candidature for 2026,” COC President Tricia Smith said in a statement.
“I want to thank the Session members for their confidence. We will continue to work with all the relevant stakeholders to build momentum to ensure an inspiring and responsible Olympic Bid.”
Scott Hutcheson, who was named Chair of Calgary 2026 earlier this month said “I want to thank all of the members in Canada’s winter and summer sport community for their vote of confidence that will allow all of us to move forward.
“Together, we will work on behalf of the community to deliver a transparent and dynamic bid that should present tremendous benefits for all Canadians. ”
Calgary hosted the Winter Games in 1988, and the most recent edition staged in Canada was in Vancouver in 2010. The Summer Games were hosted in Montreal in 1976.
Last week a bid from Sion in Switzerland was forced to withdraw from the race when it lost a binding referendum. Other cities that have delivered letters of interest to the IOC include Erzurum in Turkey, Graz in Austria, Sapporo in Japan, Stockholm in Sweden.
Italy is expected to name its nomination for the 2026 Games on July 10 from among Milan, Turin or Cortina, d’Ampezzo – or a regional combination.