Killarney residents weigh on the 2026 Olympic Bid

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By Amanda Ducheminsky

No matter what neighbourhood you live in, everyone is talking about the 2026 Olympic bid. With advanced polling underway, and the official vote day set for November 13th, have you made up your mind yet?

Robert Walker has always been “generally in favour” of the Games, but knew he needed to do some research before heading to the polls.

“I’ve generally been in favour [of the Games]; however, concerns about the ethics of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) caused me to think long and hard, and spurred me to get some further information in order to make a decision.”

“I learned a great deal about the reform movement called "Agenda 2020" currently being championed by the IOC and the Olympic community. A large part of this agenda is focused on cleaning up sport, the Olympic and Paralympic bidding process and reducing the costs of hosting the Games.”

He states that taking the time to do his homework “made him much more comfortable with his decision to vote yes.”

Joey Stewart also had some strong hesitations before ultimately deciding that the Games would be a good idea for Calgary. After reading op-eds as well attending various information sessions, she too now feels more confident in her vote.

“As a result I’ve decided to vote ‘yes’ because I think that the City needs the economic boost in these tough times…My goal is that we’re the number one most liveable city in the world, and I believe that hosting a safe and fiscally responsible Games will put us in the number one spot.

“What I’m telling my neighbours is that having the Olympics allows the entire city to volunteer, become involved and be a part of creating the kind of pride that makes Calgary the best place to live.”

Many Calgarians seem to be taking the public decision seriously as well. Sparking overall increased civil participation, the bid’s advanced polls have already well surpassed the 2013 election’s advanced turnout numbers. As of Thursday, Nov. 8th over 50,000 people have already locked in their response.

With costs flying around in the media, as well as economists trying to break down the numbers, dollar signs have also been a dominant point of conversation.

Pro 2026 voter, Heather Stubbs says that even though numbers are important, undecided voters should try and think past the balance sheet.

“I think having the Olympics is so much more than the money and people need to consider all the intangibles that come with hosting the Olympics.”

Walker agrees that non-number reasons can be some of the most important when it comes down to making a decision of this magnitude.  

“My two kids will be 17 and 14 in 2026. When we talk about the Olympics they’re both very excited about the possibility of being a part of this. My oldest said she hopes she can be a volunteer at the Games and my youngest is also very excited, wanting to try to find a way to dance or perform in the opening or closing ceremonies.”

“I see this as a golden opportunity for Calgary and Calgarians to dream big and show the world that we are much more than just an oil and gas town, and that we are what we all know we are: a world class city full of volunteers, entrepreneurs and ‘doers’ – who are ready to welcome the world with open arms.”

Although these Killarney residents remain optimistic, current limited CBC News polls state that the majority of Calgarians seem to be leaning to a “no” conclusion. Yet as many electoral shake-ups show, every hour counts.

As Walker states, in the end “however you plan to vote, make sure your voice is heard.”

Full polling information and locations can be found on the City’s website.