The world of sports is a reflection of the world of politics. It is becoming increasingly multipolar with the emerging states hosting mega sporting events. Firstly, the article problematizes the concept of multipolarity and, secondly, globalisation by questioning whether the Olympic Games reinforce national identities and promote national interests by using Olympic diplomacy as a soft power tool. In doing so, the article explores the correlation between the changes in international affairs and the hosting of and participation at the Olympic Games by emerging states such as Brazil, China and Russia. The analysis distinguishes globalisation from the role of the nation-state, by highlighting the evident differences between emerging states in terms of hosting the Games, but also takes into consideration geopolitical and geo-economic parameters.