Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told CBC's Olympic Games Primetime at Pyeongchang 2018 that he personally backs a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games ©CBC

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has admitted he would like the city to bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games but it must have the support of local citizens for it go ahead.

Nenshi is currently attending these Winter Olympic Games with Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda to help gather information before making a final decision, which is expected to be made in June.

"My personal feeling? Of course it would be amazing," Nenshi told CBC's Olympic Games Primetime.

"But my personal feelings don't matter. 

"It's what's right for the city.

"We have to answer two questions: Can we do it? 

"Absolutely, we can do it, and we can do a great job of it. 

"But the more important question right now is should we do it. 

"Is it right for Canada, is it right for Alberta, is it right for Calgary to do it now?"

Nenshi added: "If we make a yes decision by June, there's probably one or two more key touch points, including public engagement, talking to citizens, where we could still back out.

"Once you're into the candidature phase in October…I mean, cities have backed out before, but at some point you can't be half pregnant."

Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the opening of the 1988 Winter Olympics, the last time they were staged in Calgary. 

"In Calgary, we've taken very, very good care of our facilities, our physical legacy, but also our community legacy," Nenshi told CBC.

"All of these great Canadians that you see, a huge chunk of them train or do their work in Calgary. 

"We host World Cups and World Championships, 11 of them a year."

Calgary is currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of hosting the 1988 Winter Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Calgary is currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of hosting the 1988 Winter Olympic Games ©Getty Images

If Calgary does bid, it is likely to face opposition from Sapporo in Japan.

Sion in Switzerland also have advanced plans to bid but face mounting local opposition in the run-up to a referendum in June. 

Stockholm in Sweden and Graz and Schladming in Austria are also deciding whether to bid. 

Calgary has estimated it will cost CAD$30 million (£17 million/$24 million/€19 million) to bid for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, of which Nenshi is hoping CAD$10 million (£6 million/$8 million/€6.5 million) would come from the Federal and Provincial Governments.

Last June, the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee estimated that hosting the 2026 Olympics in Calgary would cost around CAD$4.6 billion (£2.6 billion/$3.6 billion/€2.9 billion).

"I think everyone knows the kind of energy you feel when you're at the Olympics," Hoffman told the Calgary Eyeopener. 

"We want to get a good understanding of the economics and the potential benefits for job creation and good economics for the city of Calgary and the Province of Alberta as a whole."