I’ve been fortunate enough to catch numerous medal ceremonies from the 2012 Games in London over the past week, and naturally I feel the requisite sense of pride when it’s a fellow American standing in the top spot on the medal risers.
But after listening to the Star-Spangled Banner multiple times in the swimming venue, I’m seriously wondering who chose the arrangement, because it’s got to be one of the cheesiest versions of the US National Anthem that I’ve ever heard.
I tried to find an audio clip of it to prove my point, but the closest thing I could come up with was the version being played at the track & field stadium. You can have a listen here courtesy of a Spanish journalist’s TV interview with Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who very classily interrupts her in order to stand at attention as the anthem is played for US 400 meter gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross.
I’m thinking it’s likely that this is the exact same arrangement that was played for the swimmers… but it seems to sound a little better (as in fortissimo and a bit more majestic) in the larger venue.
Still, it’s not the awe-inspiring, give-you-goosebumps, tear-inducing performance of the Star -Spangled Banner one expects to hear at an Olympic Medal Ceremony.
Which provides me with an excellent excuse to play my favorite performance of the National Anthem of ALL TIME.
THIS is how it’s done, people.