World Cup competitor and Olympic hopeful Brendan Mackay was feeling disappointed following the results of Calgary’s Olympic bid plebiscite.
His Olympic dream of going for gold in his own country is now just an illusion.
“I was almost assuming it was going to be a ‘yes.’ That was the only choice from my perspective. Unfortunately, it’s not,” MacKay said.
The Calgary business supporting MacKay with a sponsorship regrets the city didn’t seize an opportunity.
Jay Vaughan, owner of Mountain Cultures, said given the current economic reality, having the 2026 Games in this city would have been the injection needed.
“It would have been a big boost.
“Calgary is not terrible without it but it would have been a nice thing to have handed us with the current state,” Vaughan said.
Other businesses admitted they’re relieved the majority voted ‘no.’
Owner of Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar, Andy Fennell, said it’s the wrong time for the city.
“All I’ve heard is that it would spur job growth and I am cynical with that,” Fennell said.
“Economically, the emphasis needs to be to get people back to work.”
City officials are now starting to navigate how to pivot from the plebiscite’s no result.
Ward 8 councillor Evan Woolley said he’s not surprised by the outcome.
“The province came up too short in its contribution with no willingness to take on risks.
“The federal government, at a political level, didn’t look closely enough until it was too late and the IOC didn’t come to table with enough value to move forward on a project like this.”