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Calgary Rejects 2026 Olympics, Which Will Now Go to Europe

Before yesterday, Calgary was one of three cities that remained in the running to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.

With the infrastructure in place, and Canada having proven its pedigree as a competent Olympic host as recently as 2010, Calgary looked set to host its second Winter Olympics in less than 40 years.

Until Calgarians had something to say about it. Yesterday, residents of Calgary voted on whether their city should pursue a bid to host the 2026 Games. They said Calgary should not.

A public vote determined 56 per cent of Calgarians oppose the city’s Olympic bid. This should not come as a surprise…

Here’s how the ballot looked for those voting:

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

304,774 Calgarians cast their ballots. 171,750 voted against hosting the Olympics; 132,832 voted in favour. And while the decision is non-binding, it all but spells defeat for Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s ambition.

“I was hoping for a yes vote tonight,” said Nenshi after the votes were counted. “The people have spoken in big numbers and the people have spoken clearly. This is very clear direction for where we go from here.”

Where we go from here is straight to Calgary’s true world-class exhibition: The Stampede. The 2026 Winter Olympics will now be awarded to either Stockhol, Sweden or Milan, Italy.

Christian Nathler

Christian Nathler is a contributing writer at Notable Life.