Make Athens the Permanent Summer Olympics Site, Please!

Amidst the euphoria surrounding Beijing’s Summer Olympics, and the lessons learned from previous Games, consider these reasons for making Athens, Greece the permanent summer Games site:

1. Reducing Costs and Spending Wisely.

The Beijing Olympics cost close to $43 Billion USD, the most expensive in history. The original budget estimates for the 2012 London Games were surpassed barely a year after its selection, and are projected to reach a “thrifty” $15-20 Billion USD.

Why the madness? Seems that regardless of financial risk, there is no shortage of cities vying to become Olympic host. Already, Chicago, Rio de Janiero, and Madrid have announced their candidacies for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Thus ensuring a free-for-all of high-stakes wining and dining until the official announcement in 2009.

Instead of committing tens of millions of dollars to competing bids on a quadrennial basis, keeping the Olympic Games in Athens would result in permanent savings, as well as a funds reallocation for local and national initiatives. In addition, member nations could contribute to an IOC infrastructure fund that ensures the viability of Athens’ sporting venues. A global allocation would pale in comparison to the mega-billions currently spent on replicating Olympic projects throughout the world.

2. Improving the Level of Transparency.

With all future Games in Athens, the extravagant and obscene bidding process that precedes the selection of each Olympic city would come to an end. Bribery scandals, kickbacks, and unaccountable public/private spending would be drastically reduced if not eliminated. Instead, the world’s sporting community should commit to keeping Athens’ Olympic infrastructure at the highest standards possible.

3. Promotion of Sustainable Development.

How about ending the scourge of infrequently or underused sports facilities around the world in Olympic cities? Nations of course have the right and duty to construct stadia and provide funding that helps athletes achieve peak performance. However, without the ‘Olympic’ hosting burden, both government and private companies would be more responsible with their policy decisions. Supporting Greece would be a wise investment – it would leave more money for promoting sport at the grassroots level and for traditionally disadvantaged groups. Amongst other societal priorities.

4. Respect for History and Civilization.

As the cradle of Western civilization and originator of the ancient Olympiad, Greece is well-positioned to treat the quadrennial event with the dignity, reverence, and respect it deserves. Athens hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896, as well as the 2004 version. Hence, it has proven itself capable of welcoming tens of thousands of athletes and providing facilities for the 300+ medal events currently on the books.

5. Hellenic Serenity – Truly a Friendly Games.

An open Games, a boycott-free Games, and a Games void of past athletic and bureaucratic excesses is in humanity’s best interest. Now is the time to revisit the roots of the Olympic movement, as articulated by modern Games founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The Olympic Charter is an idealist document, but what better way to conquer vices like overcommercialism and drug scandals than confirming Athens as the permanent host?

The Modern Olympics have been infested with regional and national rivalries for far too long. Politics may never be totally eliminated from the Games, but eliminating a major source of envy could be a major step forward. Dare we say that the Olympic Truce, the ceasing of all wars worldwide during the Games could become a reality?

The History of the Humphrey Metrodome

The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome has served as home to the Minnesota Twins for the last two decades. After opening it’s doors in April 1982, it became the third domed facility in the sport of baseball. Construction began in the winter of 1979 and was completed at $68 million, which was under budget, with approval from the state of Minnesota. The home turf for the Minnesota Twins is comprised of 20 acres and is located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. In a matter of hours, the dome can be converted from a baseball to football facility and vice versa. The total field area measures 142,515 square feet, features a 10 acre Teflon-coated roof and rises 16 stories into the downtown skyline.

As it’s name implies, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome was named in honor of one of the most famous public figures in Minnesota. Humphrey, who died in 1978, once served as Mayor of Minneapolis, a U.S. Senator and Vice President of the United States. The metrodome was given the namesake of the man who contributed a great deal to both the state of Minnesota and the entire country in which it resides.

Featuring the capacity to accommodate more than 45,000 baseball fans, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome has welcomed a total of over 55 million spectators since it’s opening in 1982. Minnesota Twins fans typically gather at the Plaza, which can be found along Kirby Puckett Place inside the metrodome, prior to the opening pitch. Speaking of pitching, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome features an electric-powered pitcher’s mound, which has the ability to be raised or lowered via remote and weighs a hefty 23,000 pounds.

Like other sports facilities, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome has witnessed it’s share of memorable moments. Among one of the greatest is the fact that this facility is the only stadium to ever host two World Series, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, the NFL Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. As one would expect, there is a great deal of history encased within the walls of this facility. From the Minnesota Twins to the NFL’s Vikings, rodeo, motorsports and figure skating, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome has hosted it all. For those who have the chance to see it, a distant image of the metrodome at night will reveal a sea of city lights with a large dome glistening in the heart of the city. A rich historical site filled with charm, modern amenities and seats filled with Minnesota Twins fans are just a few of the attractions found here.

Collectors who wish to request an autograph from any one of the players on the Minnesota Twins roster should send their letter and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to:

Player’s Name

c/o Minnesota Twins

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

34 Kirby Puckett Place

Minneapolis, MN 55415

Fans requesting an autograph should limit their request to two items per letter. Popular items to have signed include photos, index or trading cards, baseballs, etc. Patience is key when requesting autographs through the mail, but the best time to reach an athlete is often during the off-season.

Health Clubs Fitness

Many people are aware that exercise is an integral part for the human body. It helps keep maintain a healthy body and also a sound mind. Millions of people are spending lots of money for this endeavor alone.

The fitness center industry is booming. As more and more people are becoming aware of the potential benefits of a good workout, many more clients are finding their way into these fitness centers. It is easy to become a member, but how long are you going to be happy with them? Some of these fitness centers require their members to sign a membership contract, which in the end, can be difficult to cancel. Here are a few tips to help you decide.

Be sure of what you want.

Always be mindful of what your goals are for your planned exercise. These goals will determine what you particularly need in a gym. A very good example is that if you are more into sports fitness rather than a typical fitness gym, then your obvious choice would be gyms that have sports facilities, and not just treadmills or aerobics.

Check out the competition.

Just like when you are shopping, it would be better if you check out every fitness center that you can find and compare the services and prices they offer. Most importantly, also compare the equipment and the facilities of each center. By doing so, you will be able to choose the most affordable and best equipped fitness center suited for you.

Check your budget and know what you are paying for.

Having a lot of money does not necessarily mean that you get your money’s worth by becoming a member in a particular fitness gym. It is often wise to consider where you are investing your money and if you are getting your money’s worth. Do not just sign up immediately with the first fitness center you encounter. Always follow your budget. It may be healthy to work out, but it is even healthier to stay out of debt.

Is it clean or not?

Always check the health record of the gym. Make sure they have proper hygiene and safety with their facilities and equipment. You are working out to be healthy in the first place, so make sure the center you are planning to join is also healthy.

Bottom line is that you do not have to look for the perfect fitness center. Chances are that the gym that you like will have some aspects that you dislike. It is your overall outlook that matters. As long as you are happy with the center and it helps you get the job done they why not join, right?