If any moment this Olympics taught me you have to keep going until the last moment, it was the men’s -80kg taekwondo final.
It was all over British TV because our athlete, Lutalo Muhammad, was expected to win, but then in literally the final second, Côte d’Ivoire’s Cheick Sallah Cisse kicked Lutalo in the head and sprinted off, running laps and laps of the arena, perhaps the most excited person to win gold at this whole Games.
It was the first time Côte d’Ivoire’s ever won a gold, which means it was also the first time most TV viewers got to hear the country’s anthem, L’Abidjanaise – bizarrely named after the city of Abidjan even though it’s no longer the country’s capital and the song has nothing to do with it.
Was it worth the wait? If you like drunken French military marches, which almost lurch from one bar to the next, then yes!
But if there’s actually a reason to give it a listen, it’s the lyrics, which almost beg the country to work harder, as if words alone can overcome all its problems.
Clearly most people ignore their message, but I’m sure Cisse, for one, took inspiration from this chorus:
Proud Ivorians, the country calls us
If we have brought back liberty peacefully
It will be our duty to be an example
Of the hope promised to humanity
In building, united in the new faith
The homeland of true brotherhood
Ok, it’s a bit like a greeting card, but stop complaining and go and win a medal yourself!
Bonus anthem: The taekwondo arena proved a great place to hear anthems for the first time this Olympics. Jordan won its first-ever medal there too when Ahmad Abughaush (that’s him below), a 20-year-old student, won the featherweight class.
What’s the country’s anthem like? Well, given its chorus translates as “Long live the King / Long live the King / His position is sublime / His flags wave in glory supreme,” let’s just say it could do with having a message like Côte d’Ivoire’s.