Survival… the “official” Olympic song

Am I the only one confused by the contradictions between the Olympic song and the Olympic creed? After watching the Closing Ceremonies, I went looking for more information about the creed and the music,   in particular the official song, Survival.

Have the London  Olympics finally outed the hitherto unspoken hypocrisy? Is it time to revise the sanctimonious propaganda of the creed to fit the modern realities of international competition described in the song?

The “official” Olympic Creed makes a striking contrast to the lyrics of this song. It is interesting to read them both, and then listen to Survival, along with the image montage   in the video.

The Olympic Creed reads:

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part,  just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” 

Here are the lyrics to Survival:

*First intro * *Second intro*

-Race, life’s a race
And I’m gonna win
Yes, I’m gonna win
I’ll light the fuse
And I’ll never lose
And I choose to survive [So I told you ]

Whatever it takes [So I told you]
You won’t pull ahead [So I told you]
I’ll keep up the pace [So I told you]
And I’ll reveal my strength, [So I told you]
To the whole human race [So I told you]

-Yes I am prepared [So I told you]
To stay alive [So I told you]
I won’t forgive [So I told you]
Vengeance is mine [So I told you]
And I won’t give in [So I told you]
Because I choose to thrive [So I told you]

-Yeah I’m gonna win !

*First Solo*

-Race, it’s a race [So I told you]
But I’m gonna win [So I told you]
Yes, I’m gonna win [So I told you]
I will light the fuse [So I told you]
I’ll never lose [So I told you]
I choose to survive [So I told you]

Whatever it takes [So I told you]
You won’t pull ahead [So I told you]
Because I’ll keep up the pace [So I told you]
And I’ll reveal my strength, [So I told you]
To the whole human race [So I told you]

-Yeah I’m gonna win !

*Second Solo*

[Fight ! Fight ! Fight ! Win ! Win ! Win ! ]

-Yes I’m gonna win !”

So what are we looking at in this contrast and contradiction? A mistake? A change that is only now being recognized and acknowledged? Blatant hypocrisy?

George Orwell once explained that when a public is stressed and confused, a Big Lie told repeatedly can become the accepted truth.  Is the creed the lie, or the song? And, either way, how do you feel about being lied to?

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2 Responses to Survival… the “official” Olympic song

  1. In what year was the Creed set out? The song represents the way society thinks now: in the last three decades, it’s become all about ‘me’, ‘my’ rights, and ‘my’ wins, and not about the other guy, fair play, or best efforts.

    I think the people behind the Olympics (and that includes athletes) want it to be about the Creed, but the whole mess just turns out otherwise. Is it lying to continue to keep and promote the creed when you know things are playing out in another manner? Maybe.

  2. motleydragon says:

    Apparently the creed was based on a sermon given at the games in 1908.

    The Olympic Hymn has a more complicated story. It was used from 1896 and declared “official” in
    1957, and is always used during the flag raising. But since 1960 host countries have also commisioned their own Olympic Anthem

    English Lyrics of the official Olympic Hymn

    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.

    Listen to the Anthem of the Beijing Olymics and compare! Wait for the English!

    Of course, David Foster’s song for 1988 remains a Canadian favourite!

    But American, John Williams, did it best of all in 1984! For me, this is the Olympic song!

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