Kathy Sheridan: Where do five-pints-in fans get confidence to tell Olympic athletes how to do it?

Athletes triumph with ambition and talent as gold medal-obsessed fans pontificate lazily

Emmet Brennan after his narrow loss to the world’s number two: took out credit union loans to support himself, worked a part-time job and, dogged by injury, managed to qualify for the Olympics in June. Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO

Emmet Brennan after his narrow loss to the world’s number two: took out credit union loans to support himself, worked a part-time job and, dogged by injury, managed to qualify for the Olympics in June. Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO

An Olympics without physical spectators feels distinctly odd.

No beaming families and gaggles of supporters on the emotional and cultural spin of a lifetime, no spotting-the-Tricolour-in-the-stands thrills, no long, charged ovations from fans with personal insight into the enormous familial sacrifices implied by an athlete’s mere presence on Olympian turf.

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