Québec City could become the latest to join forces with Lake Placid’s bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games after Mayor Régis Labeaume revealed they had taken part in discussions with Calgary, Vancouver and the American village about staging the event.
A plan was officially launched to bring the Winter Olympics back to Lake Placid for the first time since 1980 in October of last year.
The region is joined by Innsbruck in Austria and St. Moritz in Switzerland as the only two-time hosts of the Winter Olympics, having also staged the Games in 1932.
Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi had confirmed last month before Lake Placid announced its intention that they were interested in hosting the event in 10 years’ time.
The Canadian city hosted the Olympics in 1988 and a group of community leaders has reportedly been meeting for several months to mull over a possible 2026 bid.
The discussions between the Canadian cities and Lake Placid comes as a result of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Agenda 2020 reform package, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, which opened up the possibilities of the event being held across several regions rather than being limited to one place.
Labeaume has previously claimed that he feels bringing the Olympics and Paralympics to his city would be too costly but he stressed at a news conference that the various cities combining in one bid would "dramatically diminish the total costs of infrastructure investments, which would make the Games more affordable”.
His comments follow Gian-Franco Kasper, President of the International Skiing Federation and an IOC member, exclusively teling insidethegames in February that "Québec could do the winter Games" in a joint effort with Lake Placid.
Vancouver was the last Canadian host of the Winter Olympics in 2010, while Toronto was considering a bid for the 2024 Summer Games but eventually decided not to enter the race.
Labeaume is due to travel to Lausanne on April 11 for talks with IOC President Thomas Bach about potentially becoming part of a bid for the 2026 Games.
“People in Quebec City know my views on Olympic Games and, until further notice, they haven't changed,” Labeaume said.
“We understand that the Olympic agenda would enable the host city the chance to partner with another city in order to share some events.
“Three cities that have infrastructure that Quebec doesn't - such as bobsled tracks and springboards for ski jumping - could eventually be associated with Quebec's bid."
A number of potential candidate cities have been mooted for the 2026 Games, including Trento in Italy, Dresden in Germany, 2022 race runner-up Almaty in Kazakhstan, Sweden's capital Stockholm and Sapporo in Japan.
The Swiss Olympic Association confirmed they intend to pursue a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games after their plan was given the green light by the 85 Member Federations of the country's Sport Parliament earlier this month.