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The Olympic Anthem

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It was during the 1896 Olympic Games held in Athens when the Olympic Hymn was first played. The hymn was composed by Spyros Samaras and the lyrics were penned by Kostis Palamas. In 1957, the International Olympic Committee declared it as the official Olympic Anthem. It is sung when the flag is raised and lowered. Here's information about Spyros Samaras and Kostis Palamas.

Spyros Samaras (1863 - 1917)- He was a composer with Greek roots. Samaras was born in Corfu in 1863 and died in Athens in 1917.

Kostis Palamas (1859 -1943) - He was a Greek poet who contributed to modern Greek literature. He studied at Mesolongion and Athens and became the figure of the Demotic movement. Demotic, also called Romaic or Greek, was the spoken language in Greece especially used in creative literature. In 1976, it became the official language of state. Palamas is also considered the founder of the new school of Athens. He published his first collection of poems in 1886 called "Tragoudia tes Patridos mou" (Songs of My Country). Palamas expressed his nationalistic views in his works which also includes short stories.

English Lyrics of the Olympic Anthem

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.

Music Video

Listen to the Greek version of the Olympic Hymn courtesy of YouTube.

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