An open letter to Mayor Nahed Nenshi regarding the 2026 Games Bid

Dear Mayor Nenshi:

We want you and your fellow Councillors to make an informed decision regarding 2026.

When it comes to hosting major events, which we define as World Cup events, Canadian sport has been responsible, accountable and must work within our means. Staging annual World Cup events means finite budgets, working with existing infrastructure and delivering events under the exacting eye of FIS Race Directors who hold all Organizers to very high standards. Every year, our region hosts multiple World Cup events – in alpine, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross country, freestyle, luges, skeleton, snowboard, ski cross and speed skating. The International Federations continue to return to our region because our Event Organizing Committees, run by volunteers supported by the National Sport Organizations, run exceptional events.

The sport community has been staging these major events from before the 1988 Games, until today. We have been working relentlessly, year after year, welcoming the world to Canada: at World Cup events in the Olympic Oval, Sliding Track of COP, in alpine skiing at Lake Louise, ski cross at Nakiska, on the freestyle and snowboard slopes of COP. We have become experts. Organizing Committees around the world welcome Canadians who help – most as volunteers – to stage other major events including World Championships, World Cups … and yes, the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The sport community is responsible. We focus on Legacy, because each year we offer the true Legacy of sport to all Calgarians, residents of southern Alberta, to all of Canada and to athletes around the world. We support these World Cup events and other training opportunities, which are the backbone of our Canadian Teams that performed so well in the 2018 Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.

I would hope that you and City Council would want to hear directly from those who are the backbone of our sport community. To hear about the hard work, the exceptional volunteer culture, the tremendous energy and profound impact these annual World Cup events have on our current Canadian Team athletes, but more so to those who aspire to reach the international stage – those thousands of young athletes and their parents who dream of representing Canada.

Recognize the remarkable work of our volunteer community. Acknowledge the impact of our current champions. Inspire our next generation of athletes.

Yours sincerely,

Ken Read

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

________________________

Vice Chair, FIS Alpine Executive Board
Chair, FIS Coordination Group for Youth
Chair, FIS Alpine Youth subcommittee
Olympian, 1976, 1980

 

About Ken Read

"You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!" - Oh, the Places You'll Go (1990) Dr. Seuss
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