Should Calgary make a bid for the 2026 Olympics?

Dear Mayor Nenshi and City Councillors,

The Green Party of Alberta notes that whether to proceed with a bid for the 2026 Olympics is once again on Calgary City Council’s agenda.  In this context, I want to bring to your attention a motion recently adopted by Green Party of Alberta members which states our view that a bid should not go forward:

  • Whereas there are more cost-effective ways to foster healthy physical activity and promote international community building; and
  • Whereas the admirable ideals of the Olympics movement have been undermined by years of corruption, excessive spending, catering to elites, abuse of the disadvantaged and overall arrogance;

The Green Party of Alberta opposes the expenditure of public funds and other public resources on hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 2026.

The Green Party of Alberta urges you to vote against any further efforts to mount such a bid.  There is a host of other matters on which your time and Calgarians’ and Albertans’ taxes would be better spent – getting the Green LRT line built, the provision of much more affordable housing, ending urban sprawl and bringing sanity to decision-making around secondary suites, just to name a few.

The aura of corruption and entitlement that surrounds the Olympics as they are operated today is both unsavoury and unbecoming politicians that take themselves seriously as ethical leaders.  Alberta Greens encourage you to drop the idea of making an Olympics bid.

Yours Truly,

Romy S. Tittel

Leader of the Green Party of Alberta


Comments 4

  • I had sent out a media release earlier this year to the Mayor’s office and others suggesting that Nakiska could not hold the Olympic downhill ski events again because the race parameters had been changed by the FIS or International Ski Federation. Shortly after the 1988 Calgary Olympics, the FIS changed the vertical rise requirements for downhill ski races. As a result, Nakiska no longer qualifies for Olympic down hill events as the course must be 800 meters in vertical rise and Nakiska is only about 725 meters.

    Winds at Nakiska can also hit 210 kph which can cause problems for racing at times. It is also a very poorly design ski hill. More people die at Nakiska than many other ski resorts put together. As an expert skier, I find it dangerous to ski often.

    Please note that all other Olympic bids for Calgary, dating back as far as 1968, were rejected in part because of the willingness to hold ski racing events in Banff National Park where they do not belong. Protect Banff National Park along with your tax dollars. Help kill the Olympic bid! Do not support any politician that supports the Olympics. Let the welfare go to the people who really need it, like students and the poor- not the wealthy.

    I am an expert skier who has been skiing Lake Louise since 1970. I am also a graduate of Ski Resort Operations and Management with ski area planning experience.

  • I just wrote to Nenshi and Council, endorsing Romy’s letter. I also wrote to the last Council and responded (very negatively) to the survey Calgary conducted some time ago. In addition, who knows (with the climate and weather changing so much_ if there will even be a winter in 2026?!

  • I absolutely agree with Ms Tittel. It is a colossal waste of money in these straightened times, when there are so many vital issues, including the impact on the environment, to be addressed. It has become a bloated venue benefitting the rich, whether they be elite athletes who can afford the training and time off, or the members of the IOC whose reputation is not exactly stellar. We live in different times and I feel the Olympics were a pleasant blip in human history, but at an evolutionary end.

  • Dear Ms. Tittel:

    Thank you for sharing your membership’s views regarding a possible City of Calgary bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    Sport is an important part of Alberta culture, and our province continues to gain international renown for its ability to successfully host large-scale sporting events, including Olympic Games. We are reviewing information the City of Calgary has shared to assess whether to support moving forward with a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. We are also considering the potential benefits of the games in the province related to community and sport development, culture, infrastructure, and tourism. However, the games will require the full support of all three orders of government as well as favourable economic conditions. We owe it to taxpayers to think very hard about the economic benefits to ensure they are significant and real.

    We will continue to work with our partners in both the municipal and federal governments to bring major sport events to Alberta, in a way that balances our fiscal responsibility to Albertans with the benefits that come with hosting world-class events.

    Your comments are appreciated.

    Rachel Notley
    Premier of Alberta

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