Calgary votes against Winter Olympics bid


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Residents in the Canadian city of Calgary have voted strongly against bidding to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.

More than 56% of voters rejected the idea amid a high turnout.

The Calgary vote leaves the Swedish capital Stockholm and an Italian bid involving Milan and Cortina D’Ampezzo as the only candidates left.

Interest in hosting the summer and winter Olympics has fallen as the cost of staging the events has increased.

The IOC will name the 2026 host city next June.

The Swiss city of Sion, Sapporo in Japan and Graz in Austria all withdrew from bidding earlier this year. Erzurum in Turkey has been eliminated from the bidding process by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Several cities have also pulled out of the running to host the summer Games – in 2015 residents in Germany’s Hamburg voted against hosting them and the US Olympic Committee ended Boston’s bid after fierce local opposition.

The vote in Calgary was non-binding, but the city council is expected to respect the result when it meets on Monday.

Calgary councillor Sean Chu said the result showed people in Calgary had “had enough of the establishment telling us what to do”.

“They tell you to spend millions, billions, it’s good for you,” he said.

The Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation said the bid had been a chance to “put us back on the map”.

“It all made sense, and it still makes sense,” it said.

The Canadian Olympic Committee also said it was disappointed with the result but would respect it.

Holding the Games “within our nation’s culture of peace and inclusion, would have offered countless benefits to all”, it said.

The Chinese capital Beijing is hosting the next Winter Games in 2022.


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