Well my initial response is yes, but the more I think about it, the less convinced I become. When Ali Safina claims the the Olympics causes people to "rise above national barriers and overcome language and racial hurdles" I find myself conflicted. I agree that this is undeniably the purpose and intention of the Olympics and the IOC, but in reality, this goal is not entirely achieved .
When these nations compete for glory, it is impossible for their bias' and agendas to not intervene and influence our impression of the games. NBC who are broadcasting the Olympics across the US chose to censor a portion of the opening ceremony that commemorated victims of the London bombings because it did not cater to the US audience.
The Olympics presents the inequality of nations on the grandest and most blatant of scales. Throughout the history of the modern Olympics, we've seen the Western nations dominate the medal tables. In fact, in 1972, when Munich hosted the games, Germany managed to come third and fourth. In more recent years we've seen China grow as a major world power and subsequently as one of the greatest competitors in the Olympics. Between the turn of the century and day 14 of the current London Olympics, China and the USA have both won 148 gold medals out of a possible 1141. Out of over 200 competing nations, the world's two major powers have won a quarter of the gold medals since the turn of the century. In an attempt to make their countries proud, they have shamed and embarrassed those of less affluent nations.
Online journalism ethics: traditions and transitions