Olympic theme songs to build your national pride

If you were watching the U.S. broadcast of the Super Bowl on Sunday, you missed a few dozen CTV commercials reminding you that the Olympics are coming. Among them, this video featuring Montrealer Nikki Yanofsky singing the English version of CTV’s Olympic theme song, I Believe:

Of course, this being Canada, there’s also a French version, sung by Annie Villeneuve, called J’imagine:

How does this compare to previous Olympic songs?

For the 76 games in Montreal, we have René Simard’s Bienvenue à Montréal. Classic retro québécois music:


For the 88 games in Calgary, there’s the much more epic instrumental Winter Games by David Foster (you can watch it performed by Norway’s Håvard Gimse and Kringkastingsorkesteret here). With lyrics, it becomes Can You Feel It:

(Of course, Foster also composed the entirely forgettable Light the Fire Within for the 2002 games in Salt Lake City)

Other memorable Olympic songs include Céline Dion’s The Power of the Dream for the 96 games in Atlanta. And, of course, Beijing Welcomes You, the Chinese star-studded promotional song for the 2008 games:


Some people have commented on the Internet that they don’t like Vancouver song (in either language). While I wouldn’t say it’s the best Olympic song ever written (and it’s sung a bit over-the-top in both languages), I still like it, I think it fits the Olympic spirit, and I’d listen to it again.

Can’t ask for more than that.

9 thoughts on “Olympic theme songs to build your national pride

  1. Rich

    Hey, at least they didn’t get Celine to sing that slice of processed cheese food. Thank God for small favours.

    Cynical fuck that I am, I’m actually looking forward to these olympics, still, media overload notwithstanding. Vancouver is Canada’s 2nd coolest city and Whistler will always be my favourite place on earth (the mountains, that is, not the village).

  2. Red

    “I believe in the power of you and I.”
    How did such a basic grammatical error end-up in the official song for The Winter Olympics?

    1. Wandering Penguin

      Well, EXACTLY. It makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth every time I hear the lyrics. Which is to say about 27 times a day.

    1. Dorothy

      Hi Karthy..if you ever find out the words/ lyrics, please let me know also. I have searched every engine I can find and ‘no words’ available!! thanks Dorothy


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