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article image'The people have spoken,' Calgary will not host 2026 Olympics

By Karen Graham     Nov 14, 2018 in Sports
Calgary - Calgary’s bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics was rebuffed on Tuesday when 56.4 percent of local voters said “no” in a nonbinding referendum.
A total of 304,774 people cast ballots across the city, with 171,750 voting against a bid and 132,832 in favor of the Games. According to the city, 46,620 people voted in the advance polls and 8,001 mail-in ballots were received.
According to Elections Calgary, 387,582 people had voted at the end of last fall's municipal election. That was equal to a 58 percent voter turnout. The official results will be made available on Friday at 3 p.m. while the results by Riding posted Thursday at noon, according to CBC Canada.
Calgary City Council is expected to address the results of the vote on Monday, On October 31, a vote on a motion to pass on abandoning the plebiscite was taken. Only 8 out of 15 members voted in favor of the motion, where 10 out of 15 was needed.
Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi voted for continuing with the bid, saying the proposed host draft plan and budget was a good deal for the city. The Alberta government had said it would provide funding for the bid but it would be conditional based on the plebiscite.
"Today was a success because Calgarians were given the opportunity to have their say on whether to proceed with an Olympic bid," Alberta Minister of Culture and Recreation Ricardo Miranda said in a statement, reports Kamloops Matters.
"This decision was never an easy one. Calgarians were provided the information they needed to make an informed choice and we respect their decision."
Calgary  in western Canada  last hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988
Calgary, in western Canada, last hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988
Big blow to the International Olympic Committee
The decision by Calgary voters to abandon the bid for the 2026 Olympic Games puts the International Olympic Committee in a tough spot. Only two candidates have officially declared for the games. Three other bids were withdrawn earlier this year - Sapporo, Japan; Sion, Switzerland; Graz, Austria.
Bids from Stockholm, Sweden, and a joint Italian bid from Milan and Cortina D’Ampezzo have been declared, but both bids are facing opposition and financing problems, reports the Associated Press.
The same problem with bids being withdrawn happened with trying to find a site for the Winter 2022 Olympics. It ended up that only two choices remained, with Beijing, China, winning narrowly in an IOC vote over Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The Canadian Olympic Committee said in a statement it was disappointed over the vote results. In 1988, Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics.
“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,” the statement said. “This would have been a unique opportunity for Canadians to be leaders in fulfilling the promise of a renewed vision for the Games.”
More about Calgary, 2026 Olympics, Majority, Alberta government, plebiscite
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