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CALGARY REJECTS 2026 OLYMPIC BID
Monday November 12, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Voters in a referendum voted 56.4% against hosting the Games in the Canadian city. It is another massive blow to the IOC. UPDATED

 

 

Over 304,000 votes were cast in the plebiscite, representing a larger turnout than both sides were expecting.

It came after a heated campaign but in the end was more one-sided than commentators expected.

"It comes as no surprise following the political discussions and uncertainties right up until the last few days," said the International Olympic Committee.

"We understand the disappointment of all those involved in the candidature... who fought so hard for the Olympic project."

"It is disappointing that the arguments about the sporting, social and long-term benefits of hosting the Olympic Games did not sway the vote."

The result is non-binding but the city's Mayor had said that a defeat would mark the end of the candidacy.

43.6% voted in favour.

The Canadian Olympic Committee said it was "disappointed".

"The opportunity to welcome the world to Canada, where people can experience the uniting power of the Games and within our nation's culture of peace and inclusion, would have offered countless benefits to all," it said in a statement.

The question on the ballot paper was a simple one:

"Are you for or are you against Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?"

The rejection is yet another sign that the Olympic organisation appears to be out of touch with people.

A vote to back the Games would have been an endorsement of the new IOC strategy of reducing costs, using existing venues & infrastructure and leaving a lasting legacy.

The City Council had already voted by a majority to abandon its bid, but it didn't get the necessary number of votes for a withdrawl so the referendum went ahead.

Last weekend in Calgary there were demonstrations from both sides.

The No Calgary Olympics group held a gathering at the Olympic Plaza.

The Yes Calgary 2026 campaign hosted a public free skate at the Olympic Oval.

End of the roadEnd of the road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholm in Sweden and a joint Italian bid from Milan and Cortina are now the only two cities left in the bidding process but neither has secured Government support.

Innsbruck in Austria and Sion in Switzerland both held a referendum and the people rejected hosting the Games.

It is the 9th time in a row that a referendum on holding the Games has led to a No result.

Last week the President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, spoke highly of the Italian bid.

He said it had an "excellent chance" of winning and that it was "a very promising bid".

There is now speculation about what happens if the Italian and Swedish bids fall by the wayside?

It is a situation never seen before - no cities left in the bidding process.

The IOC would be in unchartered territory.

It is likely no others will be invited to bid, but the IOC would approach what it considered to be suitable venues and cities.

These are likely to be ones that have held the Games in the past and have infrastructure in place.

Alternatively, they could turn to a city they know is considering a bid for 2030 and tempt them to bring their plans forward.

There would be a certain attraction to this as they would definitely get the Games and not have to enter a host contest.

That would take away any uncertainty and certainly reduce costs as any bid runs into many millions of dollars to launch and run.

And our guess here at PlanetSKI?

One city that ticks both boxes - Salt Lake City in Utah, USA.

It hosted the Games in 2002 and they were both popular and seen as a success.

We reported back on the legacy of the Games a decade on in 2012.

And there was an event to launch a potential re-bid, though things didn't quite go to plan with a certain flame:

Salt Lake City had considered going for 2022 and then 2026 but decided to keep its powder dry and have a go for 2030 instead.

To us here at PlanetSKI it seems the obvious and perhaps only choice.

Officials from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) will be visiting Salt Lake City today Wednesday, 14th November, to tour potential venues that could form a future American bid for the Winter Olympic Games.

The City has expressed an interest in hosting 2030 and is refusing to join any speculation about 2026.

"The USOC has expressed interest in bidding for future Winter Games, but we are not involved in the 2026 campaign," Patrick Sandusky, the chief external affairs officer at USOC said on Twitter.

Watch this space.

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