The Most Memorable National Anthems in Sports

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIFebruary 2, 2013

The Most Memorable National Anthems in Sports

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    National anthems truly are inspiring things.

    They're meant to instill an incredible sense of passion in our hearts; they're meant to make the hairs on the back of our necks prick up with adrenaline.

    And sometimes, the anthems themselves are so memorable and inspiring that they remain forefront in our minds for many days, weeks and years.

    Regardless of what country or anthem you sing, they all have the ability to be inspiring; read on to see some of the most memorable national anthems in sports.

10. Incredible Nine-Year-Old

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    Let's kick off our list with a phenomenal performance from then nine-year-old Athena Creese, who delivered a mighty performance in front of a full house in Phoenix.

    People might have been expecting to be blown away by the basketball that the Suns would play against the Denver Nuggets; what they got was a truly incredible singing performance from someone so young.

9. Brazil Refuses to Stop

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    We all know that Brazil is passionate about their football—especially when they line up against their biggest South American rivals Argentina—but few saw this one coming from the Brazilian crowd.

    The band were to play the first part of the anthem and then they were supposed to stop for the start of play, but only that someone forgot to tell the crowd.

    They kept on in full flight until the end and delivered a truly memorable performance.

8. O Canada.

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    In the United States—and in many countries around the world—anthems are usually sung by one person more audible than those in the crowd.

    Yet in Canada, the vast majority of the time sees the crowd sing along with the designated leader, and often overshadow him like this one from the 2006 Stanley Cup.

    How Anaheim came out and played after that is beyond me. Talk about playing away from home.

7. I See Red, I See Red, I See Red

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    The recent 2012 European Championships were held throughout Poland, with the host nation to play their final group game against the Czech Republic.

    And whilst the noise would no doubt have been daunting, one glance around the stadium sees just how incredible the support was from the home team.

    It would be the host's last match of the tournament—eliminated with a 1-0 loss on the night—but they certainly couldn't blame their fans for disappointing in this one.

6. Roger Federer Gets Emotional

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    Roger Federer is a cryer.

    He cries when he wins, he cries when he loses.

    But to watch him cry here after triumphing in the 2009 French Open and hear his national anthem be played is truly a remarkable thing. 

    One of the true greats of the sport, and arguably one of the top role models in sports worldwide.

5. England Step Up at Euro 1996

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    Host country England had their best chance to win another major international football tournament when they reached the finals of the 1996 European Championships.

    At Wembley Stadium, God Save the Queen simply went nuts.

    England would go on to lose the match in penalty shootout, however, with a Gareth Southgate miss instilled in the minds of the Three Lions' fans forever.

    But that shouldn't take anything away from the inspiring moments that preceded the match.

4. We Will Never Forget

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    Sept. 11, 2001 was a tragedy.

    Sept. 11, 2011 was a great chance to remember the fallen and for the United States to prove that they are stronger than any affliction or adversity.

    Watching every player of the Chicago Bears and the Atlanta Falcons join in for Star Spangled Banner truly makes for some incredible and memorable viewing.

3. Whitney Houston at Super Bowl XXV

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    Whitney Houston.

    Do we need to say anything more about this performance at Super Bowl XXV?

    What a legend.

2. Wales Refuse to Budge

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    Technically not the New Zealand national anthem, but the haka does always proceed the anthem in professional rugby so it can pretty much be included in this category.

    Essentially, it's an intimidating Maori dance that the All Blacks use to try and put off their opponents before a match. They do it, they look angry and then the two teams go back to start the match.

    Yet Wales refused to move.

    In their own direct way of saying "bring it on," the Welsh refused to budge an inch after the haka was complete—despite the requests of the referee—until their opponents moved first.

    Millennium Stadium in Cardiff was buzzing with anticipation as a result.

    Wales would go on to lose the match, but the haka, and then their response to it, will go down as one of the most memorable national "anthems" in history.

1. Fenway Does America Proud

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    As far as pride goes, there can be few events greater than watching an entire crowd come behind one person who is struggling.

    As part of Disability Awareness Day, a child with mental problems was given the opportunity to sing the national anthem in front of Fenway Park. He was doing a great job, until he got the giggles and could not finish off his sentences or the words to the anthem.

    With no prompting, the crowd came in full voice and finished it with him. It didn't sound like Whitney Houston, nor was it as dramatic as the 10-year 9/11 memorial celebration.

    But it was just as inspiring and showed the American spirit just as strong as any of the other anthems mentioned before it on this list.


    What have been the most memorable anthem performances in sports?

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