The host city or country is alive with this palpable buzz. It is evident the second you step off a plan or out of a car. The people are kinder, the criminals nicer. The food is better, the streets cleaner. You feel a sense of pride coming from the residents. They ooze enthusiasm and helpfulness. They want to show everyone that this is their home. The home that they have come to love. And they want you to love it too.
I've witnessed this transformation before in Indianapolis and San Antonio for the Final Four of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. As I sit here in London at the 2012 Olympic summer games, I realize that this event brings out another dimension.
I arrived this afternoon with another friend who is interning and we were greeted by two volunteers. After dealing with the proper paperwork, I thanked the volunteers for the amount of work I know they have done and will continue to do in the coming weeks. In perfect English, one of the kind men said to me, "Well, I consider it an honor to be here with you."
No sir. The honor is all mine.