National Anthem at Olympics
It provides some of the most emotional moments of the Olympics. The gold-medal winners stand on the podium and hear their national anthem played over the loudspeakers to millions and sometimes billions of people watching from around the world. Tears of joy well up as they mouth the words to their national anthem.
The tradition started at the Paris Summer Games in 1924. The protocol calls for the winner’s anthem to be played as his country's flag is raised. Of course, with some national anthems taking over five minutes to perform (looking at you, Uruguay), the IOC rules now dictate the song can’t last longer than 80 seconds. Many countries have to create shortened versions for the Games just for this reason.
But at least in one occasion, tears of sorrow, not joy, were shed at the medals ceremony. During the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Sohn Kee-chung won the marathon, with compatriot Nam Sung-yong finishing third. But because at the time their native Korea was occupied by the Japanese empire, Sohn and Nam had to listen to Japan's anthem being played during the medal ceremony, along with raising of the Japanese flag. To this day, Sohn's victory still belongs to Japan in the Olympic record books.