Making swimmers cry

I’ve finally heard some anthems in person at the Olympics! Well, the Paralympics at least. And it turns out the easiest way to make an athlete cry is to get 18,000 people to badly sing along to their national tune.

Last night, the swimming arena had a 16-year-old American, Ian Silverman, in tears, and also managed to set-off 23-year-old Frenchwoman Elodie Lorandi.

The British crowd didn’t know all the words to either the Star-Spangled Banner or la Marseillaise, but bellowing the tunes seemed to work just as well.

I’m sure they could have had several Chinese and Ukranian swimmers crying their eyes out too if they’d known their anthems better.

Clearly, most of the athletes were on the verge of tears anyway, but it really seemed like the singing acted as the tipping point.

At the top of this post is a photo of 18-year-old Mexican swimmer Gustavo Martinez getting his gold. He didn’t cry, but then he had the quietest medal ceremony – unsurprising as last night was probably the first time most people had heard Mexico’s anthem. Also, Gustavo likes listening to Queen, and Mexico’s Himno Nacional unfortunately sounds nothing like We Will Rock You.

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