We were very very fortunate to go to the Paralympics on Saturday night to see the last of the athletics action. It was absolutely incredible.
What struck me (and many others) was the incredible generosity of a largely local crowd. It can’t be too often that 80,000 people stand and applaud the Iranian national anthem. And for some reason the crowd completely took to Maciej Lepiato, cheering him on ever higher in the high jump. And the incredible good humour of the volunteers has been much remarked on.
It seems to me that this isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s just been concentrated and had a ton of media coverage for the Olympics. But my experience of the best of the voluntary sector is of that same authentic, good humoured generosity to others with whom you have no prior connection.