Majority of Calgarians voted not to pursue a bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation Reflects on Valuable Lessons Learned for the Future; Recognizes and Thanks Supporters

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Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation Scott Hutcheson

Statements from Board Chair and BidCo CEO

“I truly believe this was the best opportunity to unite our community around a new vision of hope, confidence and realize an extended legacy, inspired by the world’s best winter athletes.”                   
Scott Hutcheson, Board Chair

 

“We can collectively harness the energy invested in the discussion about the Games bid and channel it into a robust conversation about our city’s future, our economy, job creation and pursuing a new vision for success.” 

Mary Moran, CEO

Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation (BidCo) responded today following the plebiscite vote, where a majority of Calgarians voted not to pursue a bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (43.6% for, 56.4% against).  The bid leaders offered their thoughts on the results, the valuable lessons learned for the future and extended their heartfelt thanks:

“With this result, it’s a time to think about what could have been and perhaps more importantly how we can learn from this for our future? I volunteered as Board Chair because, like so many who voted Yes, I believe passionately in Calgary’s future, I’m a hand-on-heart Canadian and I embraced a chance to give back to our city and country through a winning bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I truly believe this was the best opportunity to unite our community around a new vision of hope, confidence and realize an extended legacy, inspired by the world’s best winter athletes. Mostly though, it was about Calgary doing what we do best and that is pull together to achieve big dreams. So the key now is to take what we learned and keep asking that question:  what is our next big dream, the next big project that will inspire us?

 

Today is a time for enormous gratitude and respect to all who gave a truly Olympic effort. Thank you to our hardworking and eternally positive Calgary 2026 Bid team; the thousands of tireless volunteers at Yes Calgary; and every single citizen and organization who championed this effort. We salute our athletes who shared their stories, their energy and their inspiration for aiming for excellence, always.  We also thank our partners:  the City of Calgary, the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, the Town of Canmore, our Indigenous Partners and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees. This was a truly remarkable and historic team effort with invigorating discussions and partnerships that leave a proud legacy all of their own.  Thank you for being ready to dream big and forge a new way forward.”

 

Scott Hutcheson, Board Chair, Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation

 

“This all began with great promise: a chance to bring the Olympics and Paralympics home to Calgary and Canada.  A chance to re-establish our city on the world stage – put us back on the map.  We did it in ’88 – a Games legendary for warmth and welcome, new global prominence, economic growth, renewed civic pride and lasting legacies… and we were ready to do it again, even better. It was never about the few, but rather the many; about renewal and opening doors and real hope for future generations.  It all made sense, and it still makes sense. The key now is to take some time to consider how we can build on the partnerships forged, the possibilities and the ideas that were tabled as part of this bid. We can collectively harness the energy invested in the discussion about the Games bid and channel it into a robust conversation about our city’s future, our economy, job creation and pursuing a new vision for success.

 

The Olympic motto states that ‘the most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.’ While the two words ‘thank you’ do not seem nearly big enough for the heroic effort by so many, we say thank you to everyone who took part and threw their heart and soul into this bid. You never, ever lost hope and you made us proud every day. Hang onto that enthusiasm and share it in our community in some way to make it better.”

 

Mary Moran, CEO, Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation

 

In the coming weeks, Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation will wrap up its operations, including the preparation of final accounting and reporting to its funding partners The City of Calgary, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.  The BidCo will work with its partners to archive such materials that may assist with learnings and the possibility of a future bid for a major global sporting event.

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