The Olympic Anthem

The Olympic Anthem was written by the poet Costis Palamas and its music was composed by Spyros Samaras. It was performed for the first time by the philharmonic group formed from the music societies of Greece, on the 25th March 1896, during the opening ceremony of the first modern Olympic Games, at the Panathenian Stadium (Kallimarmaron) in Athens. It aroused such emotion and enthusiasm that it was repeated. In 1958 it was established as the official anthem of the International Olympic Movement.

As already mentioned, in 1958 it was established as the official Olympic Anthem, but it was heard for the first time at the 17th Olympic Games in Rome. The Anthem was heard and in its Greek version at the 22th Olympic Games in Moscow, and at the 27th Olympic Games in Syndey.

The Olympic Anthem played when the Olympic Flag is raised.

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 the unpersihable fame.
Give life and animation to those noble games!

Throw wreaths of fadeless flowers to the victors
In the race and in the strife!
Create in our breasts, hearts of steel!

In thy light, plains, mountains and seas
Shine in a roseate hue and form a vast temple
To which all nations throng to adore thee,
Oh immortal spirit of antiquity!

Cantata by Costis Palamas (1859-1942)

And, the original Greek version:

Αρχαίο Πνεύμ’ αθάνατο, αγνέ πατέρα
του ωραίου, του μεγάλου και τ’αληθινού,
κατέβα, φανερώσου κι άστραψ’εδώ πέρα
στην δόξα της δικής σου γης και τ’ουρανού.

Στο δρόμο και στο πάλεμα και στο λιθάρι,
στων ευγενών Αγώνων λάμψε την ορμή,
και με τ’ αμάραντο στεφάνωσε κλωνάρι
και σιδερένιο πλάσε κι άξιο το κορμί.

Κάμποι, βουνά και θάλασσες φέγγουν μαζί σου
σαν ένας λευκοπόρφυρος μέγας ναός,
και τρέχει στο ναό εδώ, προσκυνητής σου,
Αρχαίο Πνεύμ’ αθάνατο, κάθε λαός.

Transliterated into Latin alphabet

Arkhaéo Pneúm’ athánato, aghné patéra
tou oraéou, tou meghálou kai t’alithinoú,
katéva, phanerósou ki ástraps’edhó péra
stin dhóksa tis dhikís sou ghis kai t’ouranoú.

Sto dhrómo kai sto pálema kai sto lithári,
ston evghenón Aghónon lámpse tin ormí,
kai me t’amáranto stefánose klonári
kai sidherénio pláse ki áksio to kormí.

Kámpi vouná kai thálasses féngoun mazí sou
san énas levkopórfyros méghas naós,
kai trékhei sto naó edhó, proskynitís sou,
Arkhaéo Pneúm’ athánato, káthe laós.