In pondering over the fate of the Calgary 2026 Olympic Bid, I am reminded of a line from one of my favourite movies, when The Godfather says to Michael, “make them an offer they can’t refuse.” And that’s just the kind of offer that I see for us, with this once-in-a-lifetime (or in 38 years) opportunity to draw investment into Calgary. In my view, it’s an offer we can’t refuse, an opportunity too great to pass up.
The prospects of a 2026 Calgary Olympic and Paralympic Games are favourable. In the words of Adam Pekarsky: 87% of the venues are already in place and 2,850 athlete housing units will be built; it will inject $4.4 billion ($1.4 from our federal Liberal government) in the local economy, creating jobs, prosperity and growth; it will re-establish Calgary on the global stage, renew critical sport infrastructure, and build a much-needed field house and affordable housing for everyday Calgarians; it will showcase Calgary’s superpower of volunteerism and sense of pride, build a legacy for our children and future Olympic athletes, create more jobs for Calgarians, add $1 billion in local wages for local businesses and employees, produce more world class athletes and enhance Alberta’s reputation as one of the great sport discovery, development and excellence training centres in the world.
I look at Calgary now, and I can truly say that the city was made better by the ‘88 Olympics. Great cities do great things. Calgary’s legacy would be enhanced by hosting the 2026 Games. In 40 years, I want my nephews to look back on the 2026 Games and remember how much they meant to their own lives — much the way I look back on the ‘88 Games. I urge the great people of Calgary to give these tangible benefits serious consideration, and remember the great legacy that the ‘88 Olympics left upon this city.
If we pass up this exceptional opportunity, we may look back at this moment and wonder what could have been. I think Calgary’s best days are still ahead of us, and that includes hosting another Olympic Games.
I encourage all Calgarians to have their say. The plebiscite will occur on November 13, with advance polls opening November 6. Find more info here: http://vote2018.calgary.ca/home.html