Although the Olympic Games feature all kinds of music, there is at least one piece you will hear at every Opening and Closing Ceremony when the Olympic flag is raised or lowered: the Olympic anthemalso known as Olympic anthem. This Olympic anthem is traditionally used to represent the IOC Refugee Olympic Team.
Who wrote the Olympic anthem and when?
The anthem, also known as Olympic anthem, was composed by Greek opera composer Spyridon Samaras (born 1861 in Corfu) and features an original libretto by Greek poet Kostis Palamas. The couple were commissioned to write the anthem for the first modern Olympic Games, which were held in Athens in 1896. However, it was not officially adopted by the International Olympic Committee as the official anthem of the Olympic movement until 1958. .
Why does the Refugee Olympic Team use this Olympic anthem?
Since the participating refugee athletes do not have a specific national identity, they are represented by the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem. This has caused some controversy, however, for refugee activists. A bespoke flag was designed and a new anthem composed (by Syrian refugee composer Moutaz Arian) when the team first competed in Rio in 2016, but their efforts have not been officially recognized by the IOC. So, for now, the team continues to be represented by the Olympic flag and anthem.
What are the words of the Olympic anthem in English?
Immortal Olympian Flame
Whose lighthouse lights our way
Burn our hearts with the fires of hope
On this memorable day
Like now we cross the world
To share these Games of yesteryear
That all the flags of each country
In brotherhood unfold
Sing every nation, loud voices
Rise in Harmony
Salute to our brave Olympians
With strains of victory
The Olympic light burns again and again
O’er seas and mountains and plains
Unite, Inspire, Honor
To these ascending games
Let valor reign victorious
Along the path of the golden way
As the new champions of tomorrow show up now
Rise to the fervent spirit of the game
Let splendor permeate every noble deed
Crowned with glory and fame
And that brotherhood and camaraderie
Surround the soul of every nation
Oh eternal flame in your firmament so bright
Illuminate us with your eternal light
This grace, this beauty and this magnificence
shine like the sun
Grant us your honor, your truth and your love
What else did Spyridon Samaras compose?
Samaras was one of the most acclaimed Greek composers of the mid-19th century and is otherwise best known as an opera composer. Although Greek, he spent a few years studying in Paris (with Delibes and Gounod, among others) and then headed for Italy, where he wrote among other things Medge, Martyrdom and flora mirabilis. He continued to write after returning to Athens in the early 20th century; his last opera was Tiger. He also wrote piano music.
Aren’t there other “Olympic anthems”?
Yes there are a few, including two written in the 1930s by composers Richard Strauss (for the 1936 Berlin Olympics) and Walter Bradley-Keeler (for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics). Leonard Bernstein wrote his Olympic anthem for the 1981 International Olympic Congress.
Do you have Olympic fever? Find the lyrics to some of the different national anthems here and get ready to sing them with a bang