Sport’s tarnished image creates a crisis of faith in our great love | Emma John

As we head into an Olympic Games where we will doubt whether what we are seeing is real, sport forces us to decide if we see the good in people or the bad

Walking through Stratford on a recent summer’s evening, I saw the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park full of young people. The sight of a well-maintained public space fulfilling its intended purpose gave me a warm glow: so many teenagers energising the place, a multi-ethnic advert for London’s Olympic legacy. Then I spotted the police horses and a small gang trying to force open the door to the café toilets, and realised I was in the middle of a flashmob water-pistol fight, like the one that had vandalised Hyde Park. Not for the first time in my career as a sportswriter, it had turned out that I didn’t really know what I was watching.

Related: Rio 2016: ten things you need to know – from bugs to Bolt | Barry Glendenning

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