Quebec City abandons 2026 Olympic bid

Quebec City mayor Régis Labeaume says he won't be putting the city's name forward for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

Mayor Régis Labeaume says city doesn't have good enough chance of being awarded winter games

Quebec City mayor Régis Labeaume will not put the city's name in the running for the 2026 Winter Olympics. (Radio Canada)

Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume will not be putting the city's name forward for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

"Our conclusion was that we didn't have great chances of getting the games," Labeaume said in a news conference Thursday afternoon. 

He said with the heads of two main winter sports federations – skiing and hockey – sitting on a task force aimed at launching a Swiss bid for the 2026 Winter Games, he realized it was impossible for Quebec City to get a fair hearing.

"Having the Olympics in Quebec would take skiing," Labeaume said. "But how can I negotiate a technical solution to this [the lack of an Olympic-level mountain near Quebec City] at the International Ski Federation when its president supports Switzerland?"  

The mayor said he'd spoken to the president of the Canadian Olympic Committee before announcing the decision to pull out.

Just last month, Labeaume travelled to International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland to discuss Quebec City's chances with IOC president Thomas Bach.

He'd previously expressed interest in sharing the games with another city, such as Lake Placid, Calgary or Vancouver. The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) shot down the idea of a shared games with Lake Placid shortly after Labeaume's public pitch. 

The day after Labeaume's Lausanne meeting, Premier Philippe Couillard said that he supported the idea of having the Olympic Games in Quebec, provided they came at a reasonable cost and didn't put public finances in jeopardy.