AthletesCAN urges Calgary City Council to save Calgary 2026 bid and continue process to plebiscite

October 30, 2018 (Ottawa, ON) - AthletesCAN is extremely disappointed to hear the assessment committee’s motion to end the bid process for the Calgary 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and cancel the November 13th plebiscite after the three levels of government were unable to reach a successful outcome to funding negotiations on Monday. We urge the City Council members to reconsider the opportunity and continue with the upcoming plebiscite.

As the collective voice for Canada’s national team athletes, we understand the value of this nation building event first hand – from the inspiring performances and top notch infrastructure from the Calgary ‘88 Games; or the widespread national pride fostered by the Vancouver 2010 Games, uniting Canadians through the power of sport – our country, host cities and provinces, and most importantly, our communities have benefited immensely from these Games in so many tangible and intangible ways.

“I spent 10 years of my career living and training at the legacy venues from the Calgary 88 Olympics. Myself, and many other national team athletes moved to Calgary specifically because the city had done such an excellent job keeping these venues not only usable, but up to date for the needs of us, the next generation of Olympians”, says 2-time Olympic alpine skier Allison Forsyth. “I had access to the country's best infrastructure. Calgary 2026, 38 years later, is a an opportunity for our future Olympians and Paralympians to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - competing on home soil; for Canadians to witness the ignition of spirit and inspiration that permeates a host nation; and for future generations to use and benefit from the legacy of the 2026 Games for another 38 years."

“In 1988 I sat in my living room in Drinkwater, Saskatchewan, and watched Elizabeth Manley inspire a nation. I was eight years old and had just started playing water polo”, says Olympian Robin Randall.  “The '88 Olympics and Ms. Manley made me dream of a day I could represent Canada in front of the world. From a town of 60 people, I lived a life I could never have imagined as that innocent youngster. I trained hard and competed harder, travelling to over 30 countries to ply my craft as the goaltender for Team Canada. With hard work, a little luck, and a dream inspired by a Canadian Games, I went to the 2008 Beijing Olympics”, he adds. “The Games changed my life, in 1988, 2008, and every day since. I beg those in power to give the next generation of dreamers their chance.”

“Having the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics on home soil is where I saw Canada change for the better”, says Mercedes Nicoll, 4-time Olympic snowboarder. “I saw a country come together in celebration, opening all of our eyes to possibility and potential of our nation and our people. Hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics would once again fuel Canadian pride into communities from coast to coast to coast; inspiring the next generation of athletes and role models”, she adds. “Keeping sport in the forefront is of the upmost importance to help keep Canadians happy and healthy. These Games would be a big win for our country.”

For today’s youth and the next generation, hosting the Calgary 2026 Games would have ripple effects for years to come at a time where participation in sport and physical activity continue to decline, our country’s sport infrastructure continues to weaken and our communities have fewer moments to come together to celebrate what it means to be Canadian. We must seize this opportunity.

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For further information:

Ashley LaBrie
Executive Director AthletesCAN
(613) 526-4025
[email protected]
www.athletescan.com

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