Joaquim Cruz, longtime San Diego resident, got a call two weeks ago. It was from Brazil. Could he get down here?
He received a similar call nine years earlier, when organizers of the Pan American Games in Rio asked him to fly down to be part of Opening Ceremony. He politely declined. They told him it was "something special." He told them he already had something special, a wedding he had committed to attending. They told him it was "more special."
They wanted him to light the cauldron. He got on a plane.
This time, it didn't take much convincing. They didn't tell him what he'd be doing at Opening Ceremony of the first Olympics in South America, only...