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Poll suggests Calgarians support bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics

The 1988 Winter Olympic Cauldron is on display in Calgary, Alberta on Friday, September 23, 2016.

Chris Bolin Photography Inc/The Globe and Mail

About two-thirds of Calgarians and Bow Valley residents support a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, a new poll suggests.

The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee surveyed approximately 2,000 residents from Calgary, Cochrane, Canmore and Banff.

About 64 per cent of those surveyed either supported or strongly supported a bid for the 2026 Winter Games, but only 53 per cent were confident the bid process would be cost conscious and budgets would be managed well.

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"There is tremendous value in not only gathering, but truly understanding, the opinions of Calgarians and area residents," committee chair Rick Hanson said Tuesday in a statement. "As a committee, we are invested in putting Calgary's vision first. This means looking into every opportunity and concern identified by citizens during the bid exploration process."

The survey was conducted online and by telephone between March 6 and 19 by the exploration committee's research partner Stone-Olafson.

The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

The exploration group will submit a final report to city council July 24.

Cities must indicate to the International Olympic Committee their intent to bid for 2026 by September. The winning city will be announced in 2019.

Calgary was the host city of the 1988 Winter Olympics. According to the survey, seven in 10 Calgarians would like to see investment in the existing venues and believe the '88 legacy goes beyond sport.

Video: Breaking down the basics of climbing, a future Olympic sport (The Canadian Press)
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