Quebec Hires U.S. Firm For Possible Winter Olympic Bid

The Quebec government has hired a specialized American firm to help a future Winter Olympic bid for Quebec City.

Sam Hamad, the minister responsible for the Quebec City region, said Tuesday the architecture and design firm Populous, which helped Vancouver, London and Sochi prepare their Olympic bids, will receive a mandate to help prep a possible bid.

Hamad said, “they know what to do, they are very specialized in sports infrastructure”.

The firm has reportedly worked on the planning and design of nearly every Winter and Summer Games since at least 1996.

Populous will also recommend whether Quebec City should bid for the 2022 Games, wait until 2026, or apply even later.

Hamad said, “they will give us alternatives in order to see which one would be the best for us”.

Meanwhile Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume has not yet decided whether he wants the city to officially bid again for the Winter Games. Quebec City lost its bid for the 2002 Winter Games in favour of Salt Lake City and tried again for the 2012 Games, but the Canadian Olympic Committee chose Vancouver instead.

The Province of Quebec recently agreed to pay half of the construction costs for a new multi-function arena in Quebec City which would position it for a future Winter bid.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest created Team Quebec last year with the goal of landing the 2022 or 2026 Winter Olympics in Quebec City.

Minister Hamad noted his government is willing to invest in other sports infrastructure in the region to help support a bid.

He said, “the government of Quebec will be very supportive to prepare a bid and in this case the federal government should be involved too. But the first step is that Quebec City accepts to prepare a bid”.