My moments watching the Olympics have turned themselves into longer stretches of time that I anticipated I would spend, and this year they have opened my inner eyes a little deeper into the ways that communism fosters precision athletes, both physical and musical. Watching how the Chinese women who do synchronized diving and the very little (could they actually be 16 years old?) gymnasts compare in precision to the women from countries that are no longer run by communist regimes scares me a bit. The Romanian and Russian gymnasts are just not as precise, and precision is the name of the game when it comes to judging athletes in these Olympic events. Could this be due to the fact that Romania and Russia are no longer communist countries?
Thank goodness the theme music for the Olympics on television has remained the same since 1968. Leo Arnaud's Bugler's Dream still makes me expect something extraordinary every time I hear it. John Williams Olympic Fanfare and Theme, which was added to the end of Arnaud's theme for the 1984 summer Olympics that were held in Los Angeles, still strikes me as something new, but at the age of 24 it predates most of the athletes that are competing in these Olympics.
It is from another world, but I love the first Olympic Anthem that written in 1896 for the first modern Olympic games by Spyros Samaras. A piano vocal score happens to be available on line as a PDF.