The 1988 Olympic Winter Games provide the best illustration of Calgary’s commitment to lasting legacy. Following 1988, and benefiting from endowment funds left for the Games’ legacy, the Calgary Olympic Development Association, now called WinSport, has evolved into a new vision for Canadian winter sport.
The organisation built new facilities, and maintained and rejuvenated the facilities from the 1988 Games. It aims to support future Canadian athletes by creating the world’s leading Winter Sports Institute. WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park and the Calgary Olympic Oval are training grounds for future Olympic medallists. Since 1988, Canada’s medal count has increased with each Games, from five in 1988 to 26 in 2010. In 2014, 120 of Canada’s 221-member Olympic team used WinSport facilities.
WinSport has long believed that one of the key legacies to developing and showcasing the world’s best athletes is inspiration for the next generation of Canadian Olympians. Dozens of World Cups and World Championships have been hosted at WinSport facilities since 1988. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, 115 of Canada’s 202 athletes trained or competed at WinSport facilities, with 20 of 26 Canadian medals won by athletes who trained or competed at WinSport.
The latest additions to Canada Olympic Park are the 500,000-square-foot Athletic and Ice Complex and Performance Training Centre. Few Olympic cities have sustained and grown legacy facilities as ambitiously and continuously as Calgary in the past 26 years.
WinSport’s new Performance Training Centre is the first of its kind in Canada. The high performance training centre offers everything from sports psychology to physiotherapy to strength and conditioning, and is available to both high performance athletes and the public.
Next generation legacies
The Calgary Sport Tourism Authority (CSTA) has developed a 20-year vision for sports event bidding and hosting in the city of Calgary. The project has been named ‘Legacy 2.0’. It recognises the success of the city’s past efforts – that they are the foundation for ongoing achievements – and realises that how legacy is considered is changing.
Legacy 2.0 outlines the path Calgary will take to evolve as a sports host so it can continue to be at the forefront of major event attraction and hosting. The CSTA’s goal is to improve, enhance and sustain Calgary’s capacity to attract and host national and international events, positioning it as the premier winter sport city in the world. It also aims to give Calgary the capacity to host major summer sports. A long-term and progressive community legacy is at the heart of the CSTA’s mandate and strategic plan.
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