I think sports can easily become a friendly way for different nations to interact with each other, compete and for a whole group of people to feel national pride for their merits. While sports nowadays do promote national pride related to the events and the groups involved a lot of people do so in bad faith. They are nationalistic when supporting the games but they are irresponsible when it comes to their roles once the games are over. They have become a part of the populism related to pop culture that the ruling groups manipuate.
Sports can easily push the different groups involved to the limit in a healthy fashion. They have way more potential if more organic communities get involved in such competitions.