Over the years I have heard over and over again, from countless people, about Greater Sudbury's perceived image in the province and across the country in general.
It's usually bad, unless you're talking to someone who's living in the city or originally from here.
Well, the sports community, as a whole, is fighting the good fight for Sudbury, and winning right now.
In the past week and a half, Sudbury has received some astonishingly good news about people who want to come here and experience our unique little, rugged corner of the world.
Last week, it was announced the 2007 Canadian Short Track Speed Skating Championships were coming to our town.
Not only was it surprising, great news for the Sudbury Sprinters, the local speed skating club, but it was just good news for the community overall.
The Sprinters put on a first class event in 2005 hosting the provincial speed skating championships.
Their effort, combined with an army of dedicated volunteers, made a wonderful impression on speed skaters, coaches and other Canadian speed skating officials to earn the right to host the national championships.
It was a tremendous feather in the caps of all those involved in speed skating in Sudbury and we should be proud of their work.
Just this past week, organizers for the 2007 Little NHL Hockey Tournament announced the event is coming back to Sudbury next year after the tournament thrilled hockey fans this past week in arenas across the city.
These hockey fans wouldn't come back if they didn't like what they saw in Sudbury and how they're welcomed and treated.
It reflects back on our outstanding athletic community and the everyday people in Sudbury.
This isn't something new for Sudbury.
Every year, all kinds of local sporting organizations hold tournaments that annually attract countless teams, athletes and their family and friends to our community.
Take the Big Nickel Hockey Tournament for example. Every year I am amazed at just how far our community reputation extends across the province and beyond to draw in teams to vie for Big Nickel titles.
Some teams come from as far away as cities in the northern part of the United States.
I am holding my breath for the day we can all share in the joy of a major announcement of a future sporting event like when the World Junior Championships came to Sudbury in 1988.
I have no questions in my mind that Sudbury is quite capable of hosting another big time event, like an Ontario Winter or Summer Games or even a Canada Games series.
Just on the sheer spirit of our sports fans, Sudbury is capable of doing anything, especially changing the attitudes of people towards our town.