Canada Pushes to Host Next Winter Games

Canada Pushes to Host Next Winter GamesCanada Pushes to Host Next Winter Games

Canada’s minister of sport is pushing for Calgary, a city in the Canadian province of Alberta, to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and said the legacy from the last time the western city hosted the games (30 years ago) was worth it.

At a time when many cities have pulled out of Olympics bids, given concerns about massive costs, Canadian Sports Minister Kent Hehr told CBC he feels the 1988 Winter Games host would benefit from doing it again.

“I know an Olympic bid, deep in my heart, would be something that would be extraordinary,” Hehr said. “But you have to balance it in a real way. We’re always excited when communities like Calgary are thinking about putting their hat in the ring about bringing the Olympic Games to this nation.”

Cities around the world are no longer clamoring to host Olympics. Many in recent years have removed themselves from consideration, either scared off by the size and cost of the games or pressured by local opposition.

Calgary’s city council recently voted to give $800,000 to continue research into bidding to host the 2026 Olympic Games. A bid exploration committee has estimated that staging the sporting extravaganza would come with a price tag of about $3.63 billion.

As Hehr put it, there was plenty of economic uncertainty in Calgary during the late 1970s and early 1980s and many people who did not want the city to host the Olympics.

“There were lots of naysayers around that as well,” Hehr added. “But the legacy that was left, the opportunities it gave kids in the community to develop, I think were well worth the angst and the time.”

Caption: Kent Hehr


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