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Frank W. King

Multisport Builder - Inducted 2002

Frank King is best known as the Chairman and CEO of the "best-ever Olympic Winter Games", the XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. However, throughout his life, Frank has been totally devoted to sport as a participant and as an administrator.

Frank has been active in numerous sports including his passion for long-distance running; he also coached hockey and basketball; he helped organize and played in the first Senior Men's Basketball Leagues in Edmonton and later in Calgary.

Since the mid-70s, he has been a member of the Calgary Booster Club, an organization that supports the development of promising young and underprivileged athletes in a broad array of sports programs.

Frank King's dream to host the Olympic Winter Games began in 1978. As Chairman of the Calgary Olympic Development Association (CODA), Frank was instrumental in preparing and winning the bid to host the 1988 Olympic Winter Games for Calgary. Following the successful bid, Frank became the Chairman and CEO of OCO '88, the Calgary Olympic Organizing Committee. The unprecedented financial success of the Calgary '88 Olympic Games has resulted in a permanent legacy of sports facilities, funding, and people all dedicated to the development of young Canadian athletes.

Fourteen years after the Games Canadian athletes are reaching the Olympic podium in part due to the legacy left by the Calgary Games. Frank King has received numerous awards and accolades for his outstanding work with the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and for his service to the community over his lifetime. Most notably he received the highest award presented by the International Olympic Committee - the "Gold Olympic Order" and in Canada was made "Officer of the Order of Canada".

After Induction

Frank King’s contributions to Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the world will be felt for many years to come.

Athletes from around the world have moved to Calgary to train at the number of the facilities that remain a legacy of the 1988 Olympic Games. The success of the ‘88 Olympic Games set a benchmark for future Olympic bids, facilities, Television broadcast rights, and the growth, popularity and inclusion of “new” winter sports – especially in the rise of numerous skiing and snowboarding events.  After the inclusion of curling as a demonstration sport, the sport became a global sport – with world-class seasonal events, an increase in prize money, sponsorship, and the teams and players have become “household’ names.  Curling has become one of the popular events to watch during the Olympic Games.

Following his induction into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, Frank King was Calgary Booster Clubs “Sportsman of the Year in 2003.  In 2005, he was one of 100 individuals to receive the Alberta Centennial Salute for Sport and Recreation award.  He was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2008 in the builder category as “Architects of the 1988 Games.”  Frank King served as a director for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. 

Frank King lost 90% of his Olympic collection of files, letters, souvenirs, and memorabilia, as well as most of his business papers, when his basement was flooded in 2013 – when Calgary’s river valley and neighboring communities succumbed to a massive flood during the spring runoff and rain storm.


Awards & Honours:

1981 & 1988 - Alberta Order of Excellence

1988 – Officer of the Order of Canada

1988 – Olympic Order in Gold, the highest award presented by the International Olympic Committee

1992 – Governor General’s 125 Medal

1997 – The Canadian Olympic Order

2002 – Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

2002 – Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal

2003 – Calgary Booster Club Sportsman of the Year

2005 – Alberta Centennial Salute for Sport and Recreation

2008 – Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame

2012 – Western Legacy Award - 100 Outstanding Albertans

Committee and Boards:

  • In 1992, King served as national co-chair of Canada 125, the celebration of the nation's 125th birthday.

  • Board member of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce for four years

  • Served as co-chair of the Alberta campaign for the establishment the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.

  • Director for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Long-standing affiliations:

  • Chancellor's Club at the University of Calgary

  • Calgary Booster Club

  • Winsport Canada 

  • World Presidents Organization

  • Member and the past president of the Rotary Club of Calgary South

  • 2011 he became chair of the Calgary ProAm Hockey Tournament for Alzheimers

  • Nov. 2, 2004 - Jan. 11, 2010 - Director of Canwest Global Communications Corp

  • Aug. 2006 - July 2007 - Interim Chair of Canwest's Governance and Nominating Committee

Other information: 2013:

Frank King lost 90% of his Olympic collection, i.e. files, letters, souvenirs and memorabilia, as well as most of his business papers as a result of Calgary's flood in 2013.  King's basement was filled with water during the flood, and the house was later torn down after the property sold.  Frank and his wife moved into a condo at the time of the flooding and made that there home.

Did You Know?   Fun Facts:

  • King coached basketball and hockey.

  • He initiated and organized a senior men's basketball league in both Edmonton and Calgary.

  • Played numerous sports in high school and university.

  • Ran the 1979 Boston Marathon: Clocked in at 3 hours, 20 minutes.

Frank King passed away unexpectedly May 9, 2018 at the age of 81.