March 30, 2018 7:57 pm

Norway pulls out of 2026 Olympic bid, tightens race for Calgary

Calgary could be one step closer to an Olympic bid. Lillehammer, Norway has pulled out of the 2026 winter games leaving just five major contenders including Calgary. Bindu Suri has the latest.

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Starting a new life in Calgary six years ago hasn’t been cheap for Alejandra Mejia.

Soon she and other Calgarians may be asked, via a city plebiscite, whether their money should be spent to help bring the 2026 Winter Olympic Games to Calgary.

“As a taxpayer I’m also concerned because I know it will be absorbed by all of us,” Mejia said.

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“I think it’s a matter of explaining to the people the cost versus the benefit.”

Calgary will have one less contender in the running to be host in the 2026. Lillehammer, Norway has pulled out of the Olympic bidding process.

READ MORE: Lillehammer ruling out bid for 2026 Winter Olympics

“I think they’ve concluded there’s not a good business case,” said Colin Craig, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“I think the Olympics need to re-think their model because it just costs host cities way too much money.”

Norway doesn’t have the financing in place, but neither does Calgary.

Funding from the province now depends on a plebiscite.

“We think it’s a good thing the provincial government seems to be requiring a plebiscite before putting forward a bid,” Craig said. “We’re talking about billions of taxpayers’ money, so taxpayers deserve the right to say what they think about this.”

READ MORE: Taxpayer organization calls for Calgary Olympic plebiscite as governments commit to bid corporation

Cities have until Saturday to submit interest to the International Olympic Committee.

The list of interested cities will be revealed on Tuesday.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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