The day of the reaping he was chosen as the male tribute. He was strong, used to the outdoors, able to fend for himself and resourceful. Overall he was a decent fit for the challenges a tribute would face. But he was still scared.
When Haymitch arrived at the capital he was amazed by the bright colors. He had never seen such people or places, even in his imagination. Knowing the capital had such riches made him determined to win the Hunger Games for District 12.