An Olympic Hymn is played when the Olympic Flag is raised. The music for the hymn was composed by Spyros Samaras and the words added by Greece's national poet, Kostis Palamas.
The Hymn (english version)
Immortal spirit of antiquity,
Father of the true, beautiful and good,
Descend, appear, shed over us thy light
Upon this ground and under this sky
Which has first witnessed thy unperishable fame.
Give life and animation to those noble games!
Throw wreaths of fadeless flowers to the victors
In the race and in strife!
Create in our breasts, hearts of steel!
Shine in a roseate hue and form a vast temple
To which all nations throng to adore thee,
Oh immortal spirit of antiquity.
- The Olympic Hymn was first played at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens, but wasn't declared the official hymn by the IOC until 1957. The 1960 Games was the first that the Olympic Hymn was played for since the first games.
- Between 1896 and 1960 Games, each country would get local composers to compose an Olympic hymn for each Games.
- Usually every nation that hosts the Games performs the Olympic Hymn in their own language, the original Greek lyrics, and a translation into English, is presented for reference.