Calgary business leader Mary Moran has been named the CEO of the Calgary 2026 Olympic bid board.
She will be the first woman to lead an Olympic bid in Canada.
Moran is the president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development and indicated she has been granted a leave of absence from that position to lead Calgary 2026.
“I’m extremely humbled and I’m honoured to stand under the cauldron of the 1988 Olympic games and do what I can to build on the incredible vision of some of Calgary’s greatest leaders almost 30 years ago,” said Moran.
She spoke about the ongoing legacy of the 1988 games, and how one million people stop every year at Canada Olympic Park.
Moran compared exploring an Olympic bid to Calgary Economic Development’s recent attempt to attract Amazon’s second headquarters. She said even though they were not successful, the exploration provided valuable insight to the city and business leaders.
Without coming out in favour of a bid, Moran acknowledged the growing movement of people opposed to the games, such as the group No Calgary Olympics.
“I completely understand and I also respect that this is not for everyone right now – but I also believe it’s too easy to just say no,” said Moran.
She said they will find answers to citizens’ questions and have a healthy dialogue on the matter.
Her first order of business is in community consultation, and she wants Calgarians to have the facts when they go to the polls later this year for a plebiscite on hosting the Olympics.
“The number one priority for my team is going to be gathering and distributing the factual information that will allow citizens to make an informed decision,” said Moran.
Before Moran’s name was revealed, Calgary 2026 board chair Scott Hutcheson noted some of the successes of the Calgary 2026 team.
He said the Canada Olympic Council voted unanimously to support Calgary as the candidate for a 2026 bid. He also said the board travelled to Switzerland to meet with the International Olympic Committee.
“We came away from that meeting convinced that what he’d heard is that Calgary is the right fit at the right time for a new look Olympics,” said Hutcheson.
Yesterday, after a closed-door meeting, Calgary City Council indicated that the bid process could come to a halt on Sept. 10 if more information from the province and the federal government is not forthcoming.