Calgary is one of four countries bidding on the 2026 winter Olympics after Japan dropped out.
Hokkaido in Japan was going to bid for the games, but an earthquake earlier this month is forcing them to change their bid to 2030.
“The IOC expressed its understanding that recovery from the earthquake in the region should be the immediate principle focus but greatly appreciated the continued strong commitment as a future host for the Olympic Winter Games,” the organization said in the statement.
The cities of Stockholm, Sweden; Erzurum, Turkey; and a three-way bid from Italy’s Turin, Milan, and Cortina d’Ampezzo are all that remain of Calgary’s competition.
If Calgary does pass the plebiscite and ultimately win the rights to host, the 2026 events will be spread out between the city of Calgary, Nakiska in Kananaskis Country, Canmore and Whistler, BC.
Originally, it was hoped Banff National Park would loosen traffic rules to allow Lake Louise to host some Olympic 2026 events, but that never happened.
Early estimates from the Calgary’s Olympic planning organization put the cost of the games at just over $5 billion, with $3 billion expected to come from the three levels of government.
Calgary hosted the 1988 winter Olympics with great success. The games were divided between Calgary, Canmore and Lake Louise.
Unlike 1988, the 2026 Olympics will include Paralympics.
But the 2026 winter Olympics, if Calgary wins the bid, will take place in Kananaskis Country and Whistler, B.C.
While two new facilities in Calgary would need to be built, the plan calls for most events to be held in legacy venues – such as the Saddledome and McMahon Stadium.
Two events are planned for the Vancouver 2010 venues.
Calgary’s big jump at Canada Olympic Park hasn’t been used in competition for years and a new one would cost $100 million, whereas it would cost $35 million to use Whistler’s.
Calgary’s plan calls for ski jumping and Nordic combined to be held at Whistler Olympic Park.
Calgarians will vote on their desire to host the 2026 Olympics in a plebiscite scheduled for November 13. The International Olympic Committee will make the final decision on the 2026 host in September 2019.