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Calgary /ˈkælɡəri, -ɡri/ is a city in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is situated on the Bow River in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. The city is located in the grassland and parkland natural regions of Alberta. As of the 2011 census, the City of Calgary had a population of 1,096,833 and a metropolitan population of 1,214,839, making it the largest city in Alberta, and the third-largest municipality and fifth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.

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Located 294 km (183 mi) south of Edmonton, Statistics Canada defines the area between these cities as the "Calgary–Edmonton Corridor." Economic activity in Calgary is mostly centred on the petroleum industry and agriculture. In 1988, Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games.

Calgary has ranked fairly high in some Mercer Quality of Living Surveys, from 25th place in 2006 to 32nd place for 2012. Calgary was also ranked as the world's cleanest city by Forbes Magazine in 2007. Mercer ranked Calgary as the world's top eco-city for 2010. More recently, the latest 2012 report from the Economist Intelligence Unit stated that Calgary was tied for fifth-best place, with Adelaide, to live in the world.

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The 1988 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XV Olympic Winter Games, was a multi-sport event celebrated in and around Calgary between February 13 and 28, 1988. The host city was selected in 1981, defeating Falun, Sweden and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Most events took place in Calgary while several skiing events were held in the mountain resorts of Nakiska and Canmore, west of the city.

Olympic Plaza with City Hall in the background
Olympic Plaza remains a popular gathering place in downtown Calgary.

A record 57 nations competed and 1,423 athletes participated. The Soviet Union won the most medals at 29, followed by East Germany with 25. As it had in Montreal in 1976, Canada again failed to win a gold medal in an official medal event as the host nation. Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykänen and Dutch speed skater Yvonne van Gennip were individual medal leaders, capturing three gold medals apiece. The Games are also remembered for the "heroic failure" of British ski jumper Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards and the Winter Olympic debut of the Jamaica national bobsled team.

The Calgary Games were at the time the most expensive Olympics ever held, but the organizing committee turned record television and sponsorship revenue into a net surplus that was used to maintain the world-class facilities built for the Olympics and develop the Calgary region into the heart of Canada's elite winter sports program. The five purpose-built venues continue to be used in their original function, and helped Canada develop a Winter Olympic program, which resulted in 26 medals at the next Winter Olympics hosted on Canadian soil.


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Ralph Phillip Klein, OC, AOE (November 1, 1942 – March 29, 2013) served as the 12th Premier of Alberta. He led the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta from 1992 until his retirement in 2006. Klein's tenure as premier ended when the Alberta Progressive Conservatives' new leader, Ed Stelmach, assumed office December 14, 2006, exactly fourteen years after Klein first became Premier. His nickname was "King Ralph",a reference to his political longevity.

Klein rose to public prominence in Calgary as a radio and television personality. He was the Senior Civic Affairs reporter with CFCN-TV and CFCN radio. Klein gained his first political experience when he was elected mayor of Calgary, Alberta, on October 15, 1980.

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Calgary skyline
Downtown Calgary, as seen from Crescent Heights bluff during sunset.

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