The Calgary Olympic sliding track is set to be modernised ©IBSF

The refurbishment and modernisation of the Calgary Olympic Park sliding track has been announced by the Canadian Government.

Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Amarjeet Sohi, announced funding of more than CAD$6.8 million (£3.9 million/$5.3 million/4.5 million) to upgrade the facility, known as the WinSport sliding track.

It is one of only two bobsleigh, skeleton and luge venues in Canada and comes with the city interested in bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The sliding track was used when Calgary hosted the Olympics in 1988.

"Investing in recreational infrastructure like WinSport's sliding track at Canada Olympic Park helps ensure Canadians have the opportunity to pursue sporting activities and reach their full potential as individuals and part of a community," said Sohi.

"I am proud that the Government of Canada is investing in this exciting project, which will ensure safe and reliable training grounds for athletes, attract more tourists to the region and help foster Canada's reputation for excellence in winter sports."

The project will include modernising the refrigeration system, as well sun shades.

Around 360 metres of track will be remodelled and realigned to more effectively integrate the bobsleigh and luge tracks and to bring it in line with current Olympic standards.

The upgrades, it is claimed, will ensure the venue can continue to host national and international bobsleigh, skeleton and luge events, provincial and local competitions.

"We would like to thank the Government of Canada for its contribution to the refurbishment of our sliding track, which helps support our purpose of inspiring and activating human potential through the spirit of sport," said Barry M. Heck, WinSport President and chief executive.

"WinSport's Canada Olympic Park is a living legacy of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and the refurbishment will help us maintain our standing as a world-class facility and allow us to continue to provide a place for Canadians to discover, develop and excel at sport for generations to come."

It has since helped produce 14 Olympic medals for Canadian athletes in the three sliding sports, and it continues to be the home for national and developmental programmes.

The sliding track would feature as part Calgary bid's if an attempt for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games proceeds.

A plebiscite, expected to cost CAD$2 million (£1.2 million/$1.5 million/€1.3 million), is expected to take place between October and February 2019 over the potential bid.

This ballot, which will be a non-binding vote, will only move forward, however, should the City Council agree to continue pursuing the Olympic bid.

They are due to hold another vote in June after studying more details about the potential financial implications of hosting the Games.