Calgary 2026 Winter Olympics bid likely to be over after citizens’ vote

Calgary’s bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics is likely to be over after citizens voted on Tuesday against the city’s plan to bid for the Games.

While the vote was a non-binding plebiscite, the 15-member Calgary city council is expected to respect the outcome when it meets on Monday to decide whether to move the bid process forward.

More than 56 per cent of voters said ‘No’ – a surprisingly lopsided margin in what both sides had expected to be a close call in the western Canadian city, which hosted the Winter Games in 1988.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has seen interest in hosting Games dramatically drop as the size and costs of staging an Olympics skyrocket.

The Calgary vote leaves Sweden’s Stockholm and an Italian bid involving Milan and Cortina D’Ampezzo as the only other two candidates left in the race.

Swiss city Sion, Japan’s Sapporo and Graz in Austria all withdrew earlier this year, while Turkey’s Erzurum was eliminated last month from the bidding process by the IOC, which will elect the winning bid in June 2019.

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