The Olympics are reaching more people around the world, as access to the Internet and cell phones bring the games to viewers in even remote villages of the developing world. When we see the skill and poise of medal winners, we come to admire people from countries we did not know before. This admiration makes us feel positively about the countries they represent. This in turn makes the world feel smaller and makes us feel closer to these newly discovered heroes.
The country of Puerto Rico is a good example of how Olympic athletes can unite their people. There has been many difficult events for Puerto Rico to face, such as a poor economy and the outbreak of Zika, so the winning of gold medals can provide an uplifting and unifying message.
The Olympics has the power to unite a diverse group of people. For instance, Javier Baez celebrated in fellow Puerto Rican Monica Puig's historic Olympic gold. The 1980 U.S. hockey team united the country with their improbable gold medal. These have to be built on, but it provides moments of national pride and unity in a cause.
Yes, the Olympics can unite people. Countries who are feuding politically still come together to participate in the Olympics, laying aside their differences for the sake of good sportsmanship. Athletes who win medals promote patriotism for their country or, in the case of Puerto Rico, territory. Monica Puig's historic first Olympic medal for Puerto Rico may help the rest of the United States see Puerto Rico in a more positive light. Most mainland Americans may not even realize Puerto Rico is part of the U.S., or may consider it less important than a state. U.S. territories have always had to fight for recognition from the federal government. Events like the Olympics give them a chance to get publicity on an international scale, uniting people around the world in support of them.