WebStamp January 10, 2018

Should Calgary Host Another Olympics?

Calgary City Council has begun looking into the possibility of hosting the 2026 Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games. With current Olympics being much larger and the costs more inflated, Calgary’s successful hosting of the 1988 Winter Olympics is not in the same league as hosting one today.  Calgary does have the advantage of having the ability to lowering the costs by using many of the facilities used in the previous hosted Olympics, with upgrades of course.  


In July 2017, the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC) submitted their recommendations concluding that hosting another Olympics could be feasible and beneficial to Calgary. They estimated another Calgary Olympics would cost around $4.6 billion, far less than Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics at $7.7 billion. CBEC general manager Brian Hahn says instead of looking at how Calgary would fit into the Olympics, they are looking at how the Olympics could fit into Calgary and Calgary's vision for itself.

With fewer cities interested in hosting Olympic Games, due to costs and commitment, the IOC has revamped processes to make both bidding and hosting Olympic Games cheaper and more sustainable. The recent visit by the IOC to Calgary, paid by the IOC as part of their new process, was very productive. CBEC learned about the new Candidature process and the new IOC criteria and was able to openly discuss the city’s plans and challenges. The IOC believes that Calgary would be an incredible host city, due to our commitment to winter sports excellence, the legacy infrastructure from the 1988 Games combined with Calgary’s volunteerism and diversity.

Let us not forget also how the venues of the 1988 games have benefitted Calgarians for the last 30 years. Many of the facilities are still in use today, even to train Olympians, such as the Olympic Saddledome (now renamed the Pengrowth Saddledome), Calgary Olympic Park (C.O.P.), and the Olympic Oval. Hosting another Olympics would allow us to upgrade and maintain these facilities benefitting Calgarians for another 30 years, something taxpayers would have to pay for one way or another.

Even though the IOC’s revamped process to help hosting cities reduce the cost includes using and upgrading existing facilities, new ones will definitely be needed. Similarly, as back in 1988 when the Saddledome got built for when the Calgary Flames moved in from Atlanta, a project similar to the Calgary Next 365-day multi-purpose sports complex could be an affordable and beneficial option for the City of Calgary hosting another Olympics. Additional arena facilities could also be built around Calgary helping out the many youth and amateur winter sports, such as hockey, figure skating, and curling, providing much-needed ice-time for Calgarians years to come.

There has been talk, acceptable by the IOC, of using facilities in other cities like Edmonton and Whistler. I could see using the new arena in Edmonton as part of the venue, but Whistler would be too far a distance. This could also encourage the development of the high-speed train between our two cities that can only help boost Alberta’s economy.

There are many possibilities and avenues Calgary can use to be able to host another successful and beneficial Winter Olympics. Let us also not forget the lasting advantages and benefits that Calgarian’s will benefit from for the next 30 years. With the possible creation of over 3000 jobs, upgrading and building of new winter sport facilities, and an exceptional boost to the local economy, Calgarians can do nothing but prosper in a positive way.   

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Marinus (René) Verschuren
Marinus (René) Verschuren
Founder of WebStamp
René has been involved in the publishing and printing industry since the 1970s. He has published and distributed a successful 24-page weekly news advertiser with a circulation of 4400 copies. Also for the last 20 years, he has been a printer, plotter, scanner and 3D printer technician and installer. Since High School, he also has worked as a janitor, cabinet maker, building construction, landscaper/designer, computer operator producing microfiche, graphic artist, and webmaster, among many other professions. This qualifies him as a Jack-of-All-Trades with plenty of knowledge in many subjects.
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