Last night, while sitting in my hotel lounge, I witnessed a rather ugly side to the Olympics.
The incident in question unfolded as I watched the various swimming finals on the large wall-mounted television, which is presently adorned with an array of international flags.
A few other guests were doing the same. Among them was an American tourist who, quite out of nowhere, began laying into a Chinese chap, after Ryan Lochte narrowly missed out on the medals to Yang Sun, who took bronze in the men's 200m freestyle final. The situation quickly escalated and I began to feel a tightness in my chest. The language, which was spat across the lobby, was horrifically racist and more vitriolic than I have ever witnessed.
Somehow, I just didn't expect to hear it at the Olympics. Coming from a city where the spectre of sectarianism looms large, one can sometimes become conditioned to the abuse which is frequently used by both sides of that divide. But I've always thought of the Olympics as a different type of occasion, where despite the usual controversies within the national camps, the competition and the love of the sport ultimately unite the 204 nations who are taking part.
But my experience, it seems, is not an isolated one.
Swiss footballer, Michel Morgnaella was sent home after posting an offensive message on twitter in relation to the South Korean team. And Greece dropped triple jumper Voula Papachristou last week after she tweeted a comment mocking African immigrants.
The advent of social media has obviously added another dimension to the debate, and does not simply allow users to vent abuse of a racist nature but despicable tirades of all sorts, as athletes like Tom Daly know too well.
It seems that in London in 2012, sport can still bring out the best and the very worst in people.
You can watch the documentary The Scots Going for Gold on the STV Player
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