The Independent, the Guardian and the Times all have columns today about the 'Games Makers', those who have volunteered their efforts to help make the 2012 Olympics run smoothly. There are contrasting themes. From the Indie:
"To be honest I never really thought of it as giving up something," he said.
"This has been something I have been looking forward to for the last year."
"It's been long hours - I've fallen asleep on the Tube going home - but everyone has been so happy.
"This has been the biggest event in my lifetime."
"It is just wonderful, a great, great experience just to be here, the opportunity to volunteer for the experience and to meet other people and just to be here and lend a hand. Why wouldn't you do this?
"It is hard work but it is rewarding..."
From the Times (£):
A couple of days ago, Sam Morris turned up for work in the main press centre at the Olympic Park, and realised with a little start that she only had two more shifts left.
"I suddenly felt a real sense of loss," she said. "Yes, I'm exhausted, I've hardly watched any of the sport, and I can't wear the shoes any more because they rub my feet. But the camaraderie, the fact that I get on the train at 5am and the other people are also wearing purple, just the fact that I feel very involved in something as a small part of a much bigger whole - it's been amazing."
If, for many of the 5 million-plus people who have attended Olympic events, the Games Makers have played as memorable a role as the athletes, many of the volunteers themselves also describe their time in purple and pink shirts and sand-coloured trousers as a life-changing event.
And when it's all over, the big question is will he volunteer again? Has he got the bug? Of that, he's not so sure. For despite having a great time and meeting lots of people, for Ron this was more of a once-in-a-lifetime experience and he's not so sure about doing something on a regular basis in future.
[Joe Saxton, director of charity think-tank nfp Synergy:] "We're not suddenly going to see queues of people lining up to volunteer at their local Oxfam shop every Saturday morning. It's clear that many people like to volunteer in short bursts so what we've seen at London 2012 could segue into that, rather than something that is week in, week out."
Business psychologist and behaviour analyst Dr Sue Firth, a member of the British Psychological Society, echoes that view. "People volunteer when something big comes along, and the Olympics is a one-off or certainly a momentous occasion," she says. "If you can't take part it tends to bring out a strong spirit of support and I genuinely think that's what most people feel they're doing - supporting the cause..."