Sunday, February 5, 2023

Sounds of Sochi: A Playlist for the 2014 Winter Olympics


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By John Connor Coulston // Assistant A&E Editor

With the Sochi Winter Games starting this week, now is the perfect time to put some Olympic jams into your everyday playlist to soundtrack a month of skiing, luge, figure skating, curling and more.

“Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis

Taken from the film of the same name, “Chariots of Fire” is synonymous with the Olympic Games. Its orchestral build-up causes instant visions of slow-motion running montages. While orchestral scores might not be for everyone, this inspiring piece will get you through the monotonous parts of your day.

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

“Eye of the Tiger” has been a quintessential sports anthem since it appeared in “Rocky IV” almost 30 years ago. Play this song on your iPod to turn your daily exercise routine into an Olympic training session.

“All Gold Everything” by Trinidad James

A main component of the Olympics is, of course, winning. The United States has 87 gold medals in all the Winter Games and will surely add to that total in Sochi. Hopefully, the American team will walk away with more gold than Trinidad James has in his rings, chains and watch combined.

“Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen

The Olympics bring out the patriot in all of us. It’s a time when Americans can join together to support a common cause: winning. This stadium anthem from The Boss is the epitome of patriotic rock. Put it on if you need an extra dose of ‘Murica in your life.

“My Day” by Danielle Bradberry

Every Olympiad has an official song. And while Muse’s epic rocker “Survival” was chosen for 2012’s Summer Games, the Winter Games’ official track is much more mellow. “My Day” is an uplifting country ballad from “The Voice” winner Danielle Bradbery and will surely be played countless times during NBC’s Olympic coverage.

“Started from the Bottom” by Drake

While “Started From the Bottom” is told from Drake’s perspective, at its core it’s a song about success. Anyone who’s passionate about competing — whether in the Olympics or in life— can surely relate to its theme of coming from nothing and rising to the top.

“Back In the U.S.S.R. [Live]” by Billy Joel

This will be the second time Russia has hosted the Olympics. The 1980 Summer Games were held in Moscow, but were famously boycotted by 65 countries due to the Soviet Union’s war with Afghanistan. However, 2014 seems to be the year of a successful Olympiad. Let Billy Joel’s cover of the Beatles’ classic help celebrate the games being “back in the U.S.S.R.”

“Gonna Fly Now (Theme from ‘Rocky’)” by Bill Conti

When discussing great American athletes, everyone from Jackie Robinson to Michael Phelps comes to mind. However, one great American competitor shouldn’t be forgotten: Rocky Balboa. Even though he’s fictional, Rocky is a perfect example of America’s drive to win. On top of that, he’s got an anthem, horn-led theme song that goes along with the Olympic mindset.

“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Daft Punk

The primary lyrics for Daft Punk’s 2001 electronic jam are quite simple: “Work it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes us stronger.” These lyrics and building tempo of the track mirror the process of training and honing your skills, something that Olympic athletes know a lot about.

“Mother Russia” by Iron Maiden

If you’ve seen Olympics ceremonies in the past, host countries often use the opportunity to show off their culture to the rest of the world. As viewers, it’s an amazing opportunity to leave our country’s cultural bubble and learn about other places. Let this riff-heavy cut guide you as you absorb Russia’s culture during the next month.

To listen to our Olympic Playlist on Spotify, click here.

Follow John Connor Coulston on Twitter at @JCCoulston.

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