Calgary To Consider 2026 Olympic Winter Games Bid

Now that Toronto is out of the running for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, another Canadian city has announced that a local group is working on a bid from Calgary for the 2026 Winter Games.

Two weeks ago Calgary’s mayor Naheed Nenshi reportedly laughed when asked whether the city would possibly make another Olympic bid.  Calgary staged the Winter Olympics in 1988 but lost a domestic campaign to Vancouver when the city wanted to host again in 2010.

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)

But on Tuesday, hours after Toronto Mayor John Tory said his city will not bid for the 2024 Summer Games, Toronto’s mayor mentioned he had other plans for Toronto, including a possible bid for the 2026 Winter Games.

Nenshi said, “maybe 2026 will be our moment.  Maybe not.  As I say to many people…interesting idea, let’s flesh it out”.

Vancouver took advantage of Toronto’s loss to Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Games bid in 2001 to launch an ultimately successful 2010 Winter Games bid.

CBC News reports that sources have said a group of community leaders has been meeting for several months, talking about possibly making a Calgary Olympic bid.

Nenshi revealed he has met with the group and he is willing to help bring the Olympics back to Calgary.  He said “it’s certainly a conversation that i’m open to having with folks with the federal and provincial governments but more important, with people in the community”.

A street banner presents ice hockey using the new graphic identity unveiled by Vancouver 2010
Vancouver hosted the last Canadian Olympic Winter Games in 2010 (GamesBids Photo)

If Calgary moves forward it may have to first win a domestic bid before hitting the international stage.  Quebec City bid for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and unsuccessfully bid nationally for the 2010 nomination, and is reportedly interested in the 2026 Games as well.

Internationally, Trento in Italy and Sapporo in Japan are other interested cities, as well as failed 2020 applicants Oslo, Norway and Almaty, Kazakhstan.  The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will begin accepting applicants in 2017 with a final vote likely in 2019.

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, China.

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