About the Olympic anthem

The words are from a poem 'Ancient Immortal Spirit' by Kostis (Costas) Palamas (1859-1943)

Kostis Palamas was a Greek poet who also wrote short stories. 

His poem was set to music in 1896 by the Greek composer, Spiros (Spyros) Samaras (1853-1917) 

Samaras was born in Corfu in 1863 and died in Athens in 1917.

The anthem was played at the first modern Olympics in 1896.   

The Olympic hymn is played as the Olympic flag is raised during the opening cermony, and again as the flag is lowered at the end of the Games.

The words of the hymn (in English) as they have been sung at the Olympic Games since 1960. 

Immortal spirit of antiquity, 
Father of the true, beautiful and good, 
Descend, appear, shed over us thy light
Upon this ground and under this sky
Which has first witnessed thy unperishable fame. 
Give life and animation to those noble games! 
Throw wreaths of fadeless flowers to the victors
In the race and in strife! 
Create in our breasts, hearts of steel! 
Shine in a roseate hue and form a vast temple
To which all nations throng to adore thee, 
Oh immortal spirit of antiquity.

Hear the hymn/anthem sung in Greek: