Frank King, right, has died at the age of 81 ©Twitter

Frank King, considered the mastermind of the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympic Games, has died at the age of 81.

King, who served as President of the Organising Committee and helped the Canadian city win its bid for the Games, suffered a heart attack.

He died after a training session at the Glencoe Club in Calgary, where he was preparing to compete at a major seniors event in athletics in Utah later this year.

The 1988 Olympics were deemed a huge success both in Canada and worldwide.

The event helped restore the reputation of the Games after the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, which left the city with considerable debt and was plagued with allegations of corruption.

King was also instrumental in the formation of the Calgary Olympic Development Association, which built a legacy of facilities in the city.

The 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary were considered a huge success ©Getty Images
The 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary were considered a huge success ©Getty Images

Calgary, currently considering a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games, is now a winter sports hub and is where a number of the country's top athletes train.

The city won the bid for the 1988 event ahead of Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy and Falun in Sweden at the 1981 International Olympic Committee Session in Baden-Baden in Germany.

"He created trust in people," said Bob Niven, the chief executive officer of Calgary’s Bid Committee.

"They just felt good about him.

“When he spoke, people trusted him, and they could because he was so trustworthy. 

"He was a tremendous leader who was always focused on relationships and building them with the community, governments, the IOC, all of the different sports federations.

“He was a good man, a dear friend. 

"I will really miss him.”

King, who was born in 1936, is survived by wife Jeanette and three children.