The cancellation from Calgary shows: Winter Games are the problem child of the Olympics. But if need be in 2026 just in Turkey or Kazakhstan gerodelt, slipped and wobbled.
One thing is certain: 2026 Winter Olympics will take place. In spite of everything. Although in Calgary, the majority of the population opposed an application for the event and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) now only with the two very uncertain candidates Stockholm (no support from local politics) and Cortina d'Ampezzo / Milan (no financial pledges): There will already be a place where you can grind, slide and roll in eight years.
Maybe in Erzurum in Turkey, although the IOC recently ruled out that because there is no bobsleigh track there. Or in Almaty in Kazakhstan, the Beijing defeated candidates for the Games 2022. Or in Salt Lake City, the host of the Games 2002, because there is almost everything that it needs for the sports festival, there and in the US for the moment yes almost everything seems possible.
Somewhere, it will continue with the idea of sporting competitions on ice and snow. But one thing comes out very clearly with the No of the Canadians: The plan of IOC President Thomas Bach, the traditional event with a return to a traditional ski resort to give momentum again – he has failed. Because, where winter sports have long been practiced, Bach's movement is simply not welcome anymore.
2022 in Beijing threatens now the GAU
Before Calgary, Innsbruck, Sion, Graz and Sapporo had already withdrawn their interest. Before the contest of the candidate city in 2022, it had even hailed seven cancellations: Munich, St. Moritz, Stockholm, Oslo, Lviv, Krakow and Barcelona had lost their interest in the wintry ring show. Meanwhile, this has become the problem child of the Olympic family.
A few noble intentions such as less gigantism, more sustainability in sports facilities and less protests of the officials will not be enough to solve the dilemma. If the IOC wants the sport festival to be popular again in democratic societies, it must think about its principles: how useful is it at all to promote the spread of sports such as tobogganing, bobsleigh or ski jumping, which require extreme construction, worldwide? How smart is it to initiate a global call for bids every four years for an event in which only a few places have climatic and structural conditions?
In 2007, the Olympics, with the freestyle of the subtropical city of Sochi as the venue for the 2014 Winter Games, took a wrong turn. With the mantra "We want to open new markets" this was continued in 2018 in Pyeongchang in South Korea. 2022 in Beijing threatens now the GAU: ecologically insane games before moderately interested audience in a society other than free. After that, it can almost only get better. Much would not be necessary to achieve success with the games in 2026 in public perception. The fact that there is no place that likes to play host shows the dramatic extent of the crisis.