Quebec City drops plans for 2026 Winter Olympic bid

Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

QUEBEC — Mayor Regis Labeaume said Quebec City will not bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics because it stands little chance of winning.

At a news conference, Labeaume read from a letter he said he sent Thursday to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, expressing concern that two members of a task force that would evaluate Games bids are Swiss — International Ski Federation president Gian-Franco Kasper and International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel.

Switzerland has announced it will bid for the 2026 Games.

Labeaume was worried that measures Quebec City may take to stage alpine skiing may not be judged fairly. Plans to bid for the 2022 Winter Games were rejected because the region lacks a mountain tall enough to hold the longer alpine events, such as the men’s downhill race.

Quebec City has sought other solutions, including holding alpine skiing in Lake Placid, N.Y., Alberta or Whistler, B.C., although U.S. officals shot down Lake Placid as a possibility.

"On the matter of a mountain and the technical solutions that we may present to hold all the alpine skiing competitions in our region, how can we be assured that our presentation will be studied on its true merits, in an objective manner?" Labeaume wrote in the letter.

He questioned whether it was worth investing a considerable sum in a bid if it is unlikely to be successful.

In response to a reporter’s question later, Labeaume asked: "How do you want me to negotiate a technical solution with the International Ski Federation when its president supports Switzerland?"

The mayor said it was better to end talk of making a bid.

"First you have to ask if we have a very good chance of winning," he said. "We cannot answer yes to that question and, if we can’t answer yes to that question, then we stop. In any case, we hadn’t started. But in my mind, you submit an Olympic bid to win, not just to be in it.’

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