Sheet music

OLYMPIAD : Olympic Hymn / Hymne Olympique - PHOTOCOPY AVAILABLE ONLY

  • Author: Kostas Palama (1859-1943)
  • Composer: Spiros Samara (1861-1917)
  • Adopted: 1958 (Music composed in 1896)
  • Further details: The Olympic anthem was composed by Spiros Samara (1861-1917), based on the words of Kostas Palama (1859-1943), for the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens in 1896. It was played again in 1906, but subsequently replaced by anthems specially commissioned for the Olympic ceremonies. In 1954 the IOC held an international competition won by the Polish composer Michael Spisiak, who had put a poem by Pindar to music. It was played in Melbourne in 1956, but the composer demanded such a large fee that it was subsequently abandoned. When the Japanese played the piece by Spiros Samara at the 55th IOC Session in Tokyo in 1958, everyone enjoyed it so much that it was unanimously adopted as the official anthem, at the proposal of IOC member Prince Axel of Denmark.