Photo Credit: Jeremy Jordan (https://www.facebook.com/JeremyJordanPhotography?fref=ts)
When you think of the last few Olympic games, big name cities ring in your memory. Beijing. Vancouver. London. And in 2016, Rio de Janeiro. But for 2024 there is a city that is applying for an Olympics, and a summer one no less, that may surprise you. Yes my friends, the Twin Cities (Minneapolis – St. Paul) are seriously considering applying to host an Olympic games.
When my roommate and I first heard about the bid, we both had the reaction that many of you are having right now. But then we got to thinking and after looking at the other cities in the U.S. that are considering applying, and we feel that the Twin Cities may have a fighting shot. Here’s why:
For starters, it will have been 28 years since the U.S. last hosted a summer games (96′ Atlanta) and 22 years since they have hosted an OIympic games at all (02′ Salt Lake City). This, in my opinion, will have been enough time to have the U.S. seriously considered to host another games. “But what of the other cities in the U.S.? Certainly there must be a better option than Minneapolis-St. Paul!” Eh, maybe not. Let’s analyze the other cities exploring a bid starting with the least most likely (in my opinion) to get the games.
As the largest city in California and one of the largest in the world, L.A. sounds like a perfect candidate for the 2024 games. Right? Wrong. L.A. has already hosted the Olympics twice and when it applied to be considered for the U.S’s bid for the 2016 Olympics, it lost to Chicago. The heat in L.A. in early August also would be a problem for the athletes. Perhaps their bid will go better this time around? I think not.
New York City
As THE largest city in the U.S. and the 8th largest in the world, New York City seems like a logical place for the 2024 Olympic games. However after an unsuccessful bid for 2012 Olympics, losing to London, makes another bid highly unlikely. The fact that it finished 4th in the voting also made it look less appealing to another bid.
When Chicago entered its bid into the 2016 Olympic games voting, it appeared to be the favorite to win the games. However, the city was the first one to be voted off of the ballot. After such a dismal showing, the potential for a Chicago rebid, seems unlikely.
This is about the line where I can see these cities getting legitimate consideration. Philly is a really nice city that would be a good host for the games. But where would you place venues? Sure you could go a little more west, but is the city dedicated to doing it? We shall see.
The co-bid of Baltimore and D.C. boast over 40 sporting venues within the two cities area.This makes them a great contender, mainly for the reason that not a lot of new building would have to be done. However, I have a feeling that USOC might not choose this bid, just because of how hectic it might make the nation’s capital. Yes, London, Beijing, and Athens did it, but those countries (G.B., China, Greece) don’t have quite the amount of enemies that we do, and we’re also slightly more paranoid about that kind of stuff than they are. Still, this bid could be pretty cool.
Dallas provides a pretty solid bid, which is saying something coming from me, because I really don’t like Texas. There are tons of venues, places to host the Olympic village, and room to build. But will the USOC want to deal with the heat? And is Texas the best state for dealing with cultural and societal issues? Also, this is my roommates pick to win, so don’t say that I didn’t mention ya, Tuck!
Probably the other darling of the potential bids, Tulsa offers all the fun of Dallas, but in Oklahoma. The city itself if extremely nice and has already launched an exploratory committee which expects to properly declare its bid in 2015. The Native American theme proposed also gives it a new flair, which may just be the difference maker in the selection.
I really like San Deigo’s chances as well. A big city in Cali that isn’t L.A., makes a bid. My guess is that USOC will take notice as well. Qualcomm Stadium will probably be able to host a multitude of events and I’m sure L.A. and Anaheim would help out if the city were to be selected. A San Francisco bid got a lot of consideration for the 2016 Olympics before backing out of the bidding. Can San Deigo capitalize?
I really like this bid for a couple of reasons. The Twin-Cities provide all the fun of the midwest, without the headache of Chicago. Cooler summer temperatures make the city a good choice based on climate. Vikings Stadium in Minnesota is going under renovations anyway and the city, along with it’s people, is dedicated to making the city a legitimate contender. There is also a ton of space around the cities to build venues and have an Olympic village. The Facebook group supporting the bid is now over 6,000 members strong (https://www.facebook.com/2024TwinCities?fref=ts). And most of all the cities are beautiful and are generally well kept.
So there you have it. My top 3 are: Minneapolis-St.Paul, San Deigo, Tulsa. While my roommates are: Dallas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Deigo.
What’s your opinion? Any cities too low? Too high? See any new cities potentially making a bid? Let me know! Comment below and I’ll respond as soon as I can!
With the first venue being announced later today, I thought I’d give my 5 predictions on the home Hexagonal Venues for the USMNT World Cup Qualifiers 2014.
March 22nd vs Costa Rica
If I’m thinking like Jurgen Klinsmann, I have a match in the high altitudes of Mexico City in 4 days time. Hmm… The obvious choice is Rio Tinto in Sandy, Utah. The team will be able to get used to playing in the altitude and will be slightly more adapted for Estadio Azteca. HOWEVER, there is a downside. Costa Rica is used to playing in altitude as well and there might not be as much of a home field advantage for the USMNT as it would be at other venues. Chances are, Klinsmann goes to Utah with this game anyways.
June 11th vs Panama
Here is really one my big toss up venues. In the end, I’m going to say it’s going to played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The NYC, Philly, at D.C. crowd market will be too much for the USMNT to ignore and should provide a great environment for the USMNT. It also allows the U.S. to stay in the same time zone where they plated their last game, only 4 days earlier. (June 7th, at Jamaica)
June 18th vs Honduras
Here’s another one of my toss up venues. I say this match goes to the city that very well could provide one of the most hostile venues for opposing soccer clubs. Yes, my friends, I’m talking about CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The city is soccer crazy. People from Portland will drive up I-5 to watch the game and hey, maybe even a few people from Vancouver will stroll down I-5 to see the game as well. The huge drawback is that Seattle has artificial turf and would have to put temporary grass down. But hey, no one is using the field (aside from MAYBE the NWSL Seattle Reign, but would they really mind) until June, so if there was ever a time to tap into the Pacific NW market, it would be here.
September 10th vs Mexico
Not much predicting to be done on this one. Congrats, Columbus, Ohio. You just got the Mexico game. For whatever reason, Crew Stadium has been Mexico’s Achilles Heel. The USMNT is 3-0-0 vs Mexico in Columbus and will not be passing up that opportunity to make it 4-0-0 in that stadium. Kansas City has an outside shot at it, but not much of one.
October 11th vs Jamaica
Ahh yes, the final game. This one is also a no-brainer. If anyone saw the environment that Guatemala had to go into on the final day of Hex-qualifying, than they would already know where the last venue would be: LiveStrong Park in Kansas City, Kansas. This venue has always turned out a great crowd for the U.S. and after the Guatemala game, it will definitely get the final game in the Hex-campaign. The only way it wouldn’t would be if it gets the Mexico game, which, again, is very unlikely.
Venues that may have an outside shot
Rentschler Field in Hartford, Connecticut would appease ESPN, which the USSF does love to do. (It’s a 30 min drive from Bristol, CT (where ESPN is located) to Hartford, CT. But there are better venues than this. It still could happen though, maybe in place of a Seattle or Philly.
PPL Park, with an amazing field, in Philly is also a viable option. However the U.S. have a better showing at Lincoln Financial Field. But will history prove to be a deciding factor?
Jeld-Wen field in Portland, Oregon would be another awesome venue. However, Seattle has the bigger stadium and is slightly better equipped for the game. As awesome as it would be, there’s no way there’s 2 games in the Pacific NW. Edge Seattle.
The Home Depot Center in L.A. is also another viable option. However, there are better venues out there and this one just isn’t cutting it.
Soldier Field in Chicago has been used in the past, however with 2 huge games in the midwest already and a tendency for fans from opposing countries to get a foothold in that stadium, it will probably be left off of the list.
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL is being a staple in the Southeastern U.S. for USMNT fans. There are no MLS teams in that part of the country and the stadium has been a great host in the past, but considering how close it is to the opponents in comparison to the other venues available, it may not be the best option for the Hex.
Nashville and Jacksonville have also been tossed around as potential hosts. But, once again, there are better venues out there and unless the USSF wants to make a statement by having a game in the SouthEast. These two venues are going to be looked over.
If a venue gets left off the list, however, there is still hope. 2013 brings Gold Cup matches to the U.S. and it’s likely that the venues not hosting a Hex match, will be in prime position to host a Gold Cup one.
So get ready U.S. soccer fans, we need to protect our home field advantage no matter where the game is played, and show CONCACAF why they should fear playing any game in the USA.
Now that the national championship game has ended and the bowl season along with it. The big talk around the college football world will be (along with coaching changes) the conference realignment. I will address this issue, but first I think it’s time to defend one of my all time favorite topics: Why the Big East deserved to be a BCS conference.
First off, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. The Big East went 3-2 in bowl games this year. The winners games (Cincinnati over Duke, Syracuse over West Virginia, and Louisville over Florida) definitely proved more than the losers (Rutgers OT loss vs Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh’s loss vs Ole Miss) did.
Let’s address the losers first. Pittsburgh had no right being in that bowl game. After a mediocre season, in which the highlight was a thrilling OT game against Notre Dame, the Panthers’ signature wins were both at home vs Virginia Tech and Rutgers. The team also dropped games to D-I Championship Subdivision Youngstown St. and at the road at UCONN. This team went into that bowl after beating up on USF and didn’t have their heart in it from the start.
Rutgers however played a thrilling, Big East style game. Defense was prominent and losing to a good Virginia Tech team is nothing to be ashamed about. Moving on.
The wins showed much more about the conference. Cincinnati, after losing the majority of their coaching staff and playing the game understaffed, beat up on ACC foe Duke. Syracuse completely shut down old-conference foes West Virginia. (And former Heisman candidate Geno Smith along with them.) And last, but certainly not least, Louisville absolutely demolished SEC powerhouse Florida, who was a Top 5 team at the time.
All of the teams (aside from Pitt) played hard-nosed defense which the Big East is known for. Yes, they’re not going to provide a bunch of flashy games. But every team in the conference, except for maybe Temple, has had their share in the spotlight as a good school. This can be said for even UCONN who has only been a D-1 Bowl Subdivision team for 10 years.
No matter where you go in that conference there is a tough game waiting for you and the schools usually put in a great game every week. (The reason for all the upsets and co-champions).
Now with that being said the Big East is losing Cincinnati, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Louisville to other conferences over the next few years and conference realignment along with the new playoff system are bringing major changes to college football.
Here’s my issue. Conferences were made to bring teams of similar skill level and geographic location together to participate in sports against one another. So how does the Big East bringing in San Diego St, TCU and Boise State (although now dropped) make any sense whatsoever? The Big 10 (a big midwestern conference) has now invited Maryland and Rutgers (two Atlantic Coast schools) to join their ranks. Colorado and West Virginia has jumped to the largely great plains based Big 12. And let’s not forget the tragedy that is now the WAC. (May you rest in peace.)
Overall, the conference realignment is about, of course, money, which means that any common sense is thrown out the window. Schools should be free to move about conferences as long as it makes geographical sense that they do so. There is good football across the nation where, if they’re good enough, they would be able to transfer into a big name conference. This current trend makes it brutal for fans to travel and is rough(er) on the student-athletes as well.
I personally believe that the conference alignment, along with this new 4-team playoff system will make for less interesting football over these next several years. As far as the playoffs go, yes it is a step in the right direction, but we need an 8-team system at least in order for the best team to win every year.
So get ready college football games and try to follow along the best you can, the day we have Boise St. and TCU playing the majority of their games on the east coast may not be far off…
Hey everybody! So instead of blowing up people’s social media feeds, I decided to make a blog post and kinda sum up the year.
So the first month of 2012 kinda started off slow, and one of the few memories I have is the amazing adventure Andee and I went on and meeting the amazing and talented Tyler Coy. I also had the Miss Massillonian/ Most Outstanding Senior Boy ceremony which was immensely fun and will be something I cherish for a while. These three events kind of jumpstarted everything that was 2012.
February was relatively uneventful until Military Ball which brought extremely good times and of course CHIVALRYYYY. And then, of course, was Hello Dolly! which was the last time I was to preform a musical on the stage at WHS… All in all, a very bittersweet experience. The end of February brought Disney World! This was an amazing trip in which I will have so many memories from and allowed me to spend time with people that have become some of my closest friends.
March was fun because it brought the end of Disney as well as many other adventures. The Hunger Games premiere was amazingly fun because we made friends by taking pictures! Oh, and the movie was pretty good too. I then had an amazing experience at DECA states where I learned a lot about life and had a lot of fun too! Then came choral floral where I had am amazingly hot date. And Ottoman came with us too!!! =D At the end of March Taylor, Andee and I won the mall scavenger hunt and made friends with the Teavana guy!
April was the first time I had the opportunity to meet some of my fellow classmates at Ithaca. I met my best friend Kat and my amazing roommate Tuck at Ithaca Today. Without meeting these two amazing people I don’t know how I would’ve survived college. Around that time was also the Top 25 dinner in which I was able to honor Miss Sullivan as the teacher who influenced my life. This amazing woman got me on stage and showed me how to love music. Without her, my life would’ve have been so much different and I can’t even imagine not meeting her! Later on in the month was the One Acts in which Liz and I directed our first play together and then Liz, Kate, and I got inducted into the Struts and Fruts Drama Hall of Fame! To have my picture on the wall with all of the amazing people who came before me is a huge honor and something I will cherish for the rest of my life! April also brought amazing bus rides with the lovely Andee DelValle in which she was super tired on the way and of course the lovely bus ride to Chicago in which I was slap happy the whole way! Chicago itself was an amazing experience and I will never EVER forget singing For the Longest Time under the Bean in Chicago and being swoon over by dozens of middle school Polish girls. I also had an amazing time with Jim, Josh, Samantha and Stephanie! Blue man group was amazing and I seriously would replay that weekend over and over again!
HOLY CRAP. May! Craziest month of my life. I started the month off in Salt Lake City, Utah with DECA nationals. Spending time with my DECA friends in one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen was one of my favorite memories of my life. I want nothing more than to go back to that city and just marvel in its beauty. =) After Salt Lake City was prom where I had the most beautiful date (Halie Tonn) . I spent so much time with friends and had a great night. After prom we had the Choir Awards in which I was honored to have my fellow choir members select me to win the Arion award and then I was grateful to win the Loren Veigel Scholarship as well! Next at the WHS Honors Ceremony I was honored to win the Tommy James Scholarship as well as being selected as the Most Outstanding Senior Boy for the class of 2012. It was a huge honor and I was glad to keep the tradition of the award in the tennis team!!! Finally, I graduated from WHS. This high school has provided me with many memories and experiences that will help me as I continue on later in life. =)
June was the month where I got to enjoy my summer! It started off with Relay for Life. One of my favorite events of all time and to be able to be the captain of a team this year made it all that more special! I had some advenures with some amazing people (Eric, Zane, Taylor, Andee) and got closer to some people who I wouldn’t be seeing for a while… (Jim, Halie, Liz, Matt, Kennedy, Darrian, Mike, Riley, Samantha, Stephanie). I turned 19. And then went to Orientation where I met some more amazing people, spent some time with my roommate and best friend, and experienced everything was Drunk Dan. July also showed me why I’m going to college due to my temporary job at a factory, although, that job allowed me to meet some awesome people as well!
August brought an end to my time in Massillon. This city made me who I am, and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to call my hometown. That being said, I started my time at Ithaca, quick thank you to Amy who helped me move in, and that brought many amazing memories as well!
September brought some amazing times with friends at IC. Football games, White Whale encounters, crazy weekends, shopping trips, and many more events made my first full month at IC unforgettable. I also joined some amazing organizations that would make it a lot easier to call IC my home.
October was amazing as well. I realized how lucky I am to have my amazing roommate. =) I went to a life-changing business conference in Pittsburgh and go to see that amazing city as well. ( http://storify.com/georgiemorley/iabc-goes-to-pittsburgh-10-13-16 ) I got to be reunited with my friends at BGSU, and I got to see Massillon beat McKinley! I also had the best costume ever for Halloween!
This was an extremely memorable month because I got to help one of my best friends raise money for people in NJ after hurricane Sandy! I’m so proud of her and everything we’ve accomplished and I know she’s off to do great things! Also in 2012 I got to see my roommate play ponies and my love, Darrian, got to come see me at IC! IC More than Me also started competing for 1 Million Dollars… And that became the bane of my existence for about two weeks.
More than Me is an organization dedicated to getting girls in Liberia off the streets (prostitution) and into schools where they will be given meals, immunizations and education. In the beginning of December we got to campaign for this organization to win $1,000,000 courtesy of Chase Bank. Somehow and some way (probably due to our endless facebook posts and calls) we won!!! This was an amazing experience and it was really neat to be able to help these girls get the education they deserve! December also brought trips to Syracuse, a new job, the end to my first semester and my first Messiah as an alumni. Finally, on the 19th, I was able to come home and enjoy the holidays with my friends and family.
This year has been amazing. I made and kept many amazing friends. I graduated high school with over a 4.1 GPA and a Honors Diploma and I finished my first semester of college with a 3.8. I got elected/selected for positions on executive boards for clubs and I’ve started my path to my dream job. I got to travel to many different cities and experience many new things! Overall it was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I can’t wait to see the new adventures 2013 brings me and where my life takes me!
I do know one thing for certain is that one of my new year’s resolutions is to blog more and I intend to make good on it! So I’m ready for 2013! And I hope all my friends are just as excited as I am!
Hey everyone unfortunate enough to read this!,
So basically I planned to make this blog to write about different life experiences in college. Then actual college life took over. So now that I’m on Thanksgiving break, I’ll sum up the main points of what college has been like for me (in hopes someone out there can use it and learn from it) and what my future plans are for this blog (so people will know why they should start subscribing).
So yeah. My start in college can be basically summed up in a few main points.
Being away from your family. Making all new friends. Figuring out who you really are. Everyone has heard this cliche remarks about college. Well guess what; they’re actually true. All these things happen and inevitably it’s going to take some time to adjust. The best thing I’ve learned to do is accept the fact that you’re new and stay open to new ideas. Now, don’t go crazy and do dumb stuff like get wasted every night or go snort exotic drugs, but try new clubs, explore new ideas, make friends with people that normally wouldn’t strike you as interesting. The results may surprise you and be *gasp* life-changing.
Well it’s college. It’s bound to be crazy. Except I really didn’t realize how crazy. From friends in the hospital, drunken people puking and falling down stairs, residence halls catching on fire, and so, so, much more: It’s enough to wear you out. One of the only ways I’ve survived is by keeping a cool head and surrounding yourself with people who you can count on to have your back in those times. Even then, those people may not be reliable so expect the unexpected and watch your life be transformed.
If you’re not involved in college, you’re not doing it right. Clubs and activities are where you meet people and some of your closest friends. Try something new! At the beginning of the year, I never would’ve thought I’d be asking people to sign meals away to get girls off the street in Liberia and into schools. But now it’s a cause I feel extremelypassionate about and it has allowed me to meet some of the most amazing people.
Also, it allows you to experience some amazing opportunities. I haven’t even completed my first semester and I’ve already networked with CEO’s of companies in Pittsburgh, (hopefully) made a successful run for an executive board position on an amazing club, and has put me in the position to work for an extremely awesome organization this winter! GET INVOLVED people!
No beating around the bush. College is a lot of work. You can’t breeze by like in high school and no one is there to help you along. You have to fight and earn your grades. But at the same time you learn so much more, do things you’re interested in, and (usually) have awesome professors sharing their knowledge with you! It’s a time to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, it’s not always simple or fun, but it’s necessary and rewarding.
College can be some of the best years of your life if you let it. Don’t get too caught up in that grade on a test, or in working yourself to death. I’ve learned you need to have time to enjoy it. You’ll (almost) never experience life like college life once you get into the work force, so live it, love it, and make the most of it. These days will be some of your fondest memories. (If you can remember them at all…Reason #2329 why I don’t drink)
So yeah! thanks for reading that! In the future I will be doing a thing called Wrant Wednesdays on this blog where every Wednesday, I’ll be ranting about something that will be pissing me off. I will also try to be blogging more about sports (Seattle Sounders… =[ ) and other things as well… So stay tuned!
I love all you guys for reading this and your comments/reviews are always welcome!
Until Next Time,
So this weekend I drove 6 hours through rain, construction, and fog so dense that you couldn’t see signs on the side of the road just to see the Massillon-McKinley game. This may sound like a foolish feat to do for a high school football game, but it’s not just any game.
It’s 15,000 (or more) people screaming their hearts out in support of their team. It’s a sea of orange and black crashing against the sea of red and black. It’s OBIE the tiger against the McKinley bulldog. It’s both schools decorating their entire insides and basically shutting down for the week in preparation. It’s people tailgating since the weekend before. It’s Massillon vs McKinley and there’s nothing else like it in the world.
And this year we brought home THE BELL
So some may ask if it was worth it or if I’d do it all again. And the answer is simple: I’ll see you next year!
Massillon fans are a different breed and I’m honored to be a part of such a pedigree of fans. And with pride I will echo this phrase now and forever: It’s a Great Day to be a Massillon Tiger!
Paul Brown Tiger Stadium has gotten its first soccer win today courtesy of the Boy’s Soccer Team’s 6-1 over neighboring Tuslaw. This win is monumental for the soccer team and the progression of the sport in Massillon. Congrats to all the guys on the team on their accomplishment!
I’ll tell you what.
After working for almost a month at a factory packaging bubble wrap manilla envelopes, I have so much respect for the people who do those jobs for a living.
They say you should take a crappy job, just so you can appreciate the jobs you’re gonna have later on in life, and after my experiences, I wholeheartedly agree.
The bright spots were my amazing co-workers and supervisors. Without them, I would’ve not been able to sanely survive the hours monotonous work… I can’t even begin express how grateful I am for them. =]
I now have a month free from school and work to enjoy my friends before heading off to Ithaca College! While I will definitely miss everyone and everything here, I know Ithaca is the best step for me to continue my life in a successful manner. Excited can not even begin to describe my emotions for starting there! =D
It’s that time of year again! A major soccer tournament is on TV and Americans catch the
Euro 2012 puts the best countries in Europe against each other in the best game played on a field! Football. Real football.
This time of year us Yanks get to see how the sport is really played and how other countries are 10x more dedicated to their national teams than we are.
In these countries any time a match is played, it’s on TV. No matter if it’s a World Cup final or an international friendly. However in America we’ve decided we’re only gonna broadcast the
Pardon me, but isn’t any time the USA plays against another team in ANY sport important? Shouldn’t we be rallying our support for our players to know we support them? Who cares if weren’t not the best, support is support and knowing a country is behind you does amazing things for players. (Greece’s win in Euro 04?) (New Zealand going unbeaten in the World Cup?)
But until us Americans prioritize our support I guess I’ll make do watching Europe’s finest play against each other and then enjoy a USA qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda. Go USA and Go Greece!
Last night I had the honor of attending the Studio 136 summer recital. This is the 8th annual (I believe) recital and when I pulled into the high school parking lot, the bottom lot was full and I was forced to park in the top lot.
When the recital actually started, I was immediately entranced by the performers on stage. The first act was a good mix of the younger dancers and the competition dancers. There were times when you went from being captivated by the level of difficulty the dancers were doing in one song, to the cuteness of the younger dancers, potentially their first time on stage, dancing their heart away for the enjoyment of the crowd. Needless to say it was a great combination.
The second act placed more competition acts with recreational acts. While there was a noticeable difference in the difficulty of the two, the energy was there throughout all of the songs, no matter which dancers were performing them. The solos in both the first and second acts were mesmerizing and showed the high level of talent the Studio 136 dancers have achieved.
The show ended with a high energy hip hop routine called “1.3.6. Crew”. A fitting ending to an amazing night.
The entire production was put in a very timely fashion. (50 acts in about 2 hours) and throughout the whole production the it was evident the Studio 136 staff had put in countless hours to make the entire evening run smoothly which in turn shows how much they care about the students.
The night ended with awards and senior recognition in which two competition seniors were recognized with their directors in tears (once again showing the connection between the staff and students). The two seniors (Halie Tonn and Carissa Deeds) also had a duet to an instrumental version of “I Hope You Dance” which was quite possibly one of the more moving numbers of the night. The entire night reminded me of something.
Too quickly we dismiss dance as something we see on Dance Moms, or singing as the audition stage of American Idol. While those shows are entertaining, they don’t show the true art in the performing arts that a dance recital or choir concert does. So bravo and thank you to all the Studio 136 parents, staff, and of course the dancers who displayed what true art really is. And to those dancers competing in Panama City in a few weeks: Shine like the stars you are!