Like every new Bond film, each Olympics comes with its very own theme song from an internationally recognized musical artist. In the spirit of international competition, they also all share a universal language — of lovably goofy shittiness.
From “Reach Out,” Giorgio Moroder’s song for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles to this year’s “Rise” by Katy Perry, officially sanctioned Olympic music generally prefers to hit a note of bland, sweeping uplift. It’s never about inspiring the listener to crush their opponent; instead, it’s mostly a celebration of the grandeur of human competition and other nicey-niceness. With an endless stream of generic lyrics about doing your best, these songs sound like a parody of the montage music that would accompany Rocky 18. The one exception: “Oceania,” Björk’s terrifically Björk-ian contribution to the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.
So as we settle in for three weeks of sportsmanship in Rio, give a listen to some of the most memorable Olympic anthems. They’re almost as funny as “Space Olympics.”