While the 2012 Olympic Games in London will be remembered for the great athletic performances and decidedly British opening ceremony, fans are certain to remember the tone that was set by the song "Chariots of Fire." It started with Mr. Bean's skit that was one of the water-cooler moments of the beginning of the Olympics and most recently caught fans' attention when it was played at Wembley during the soccer medal ceremony on Thursday.
The Vangelis song caught the public's ear as the soundtrack for the 1981 film "Chariots of Fire," an inspirational movie about two British track athletes competing in the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. The film was based on the true story of Scottish missionary Eric Liddell, who was running for God, and Harold Abrahams, a Jew who sought fame and to overcome anti-Semitism.
Cleveland.com reported that a recent London play drew a parallel between the 1924 Games and the 2012 Games, both of which hold a certain place in the heart of British fans.
The film is ranked in the top 20 British films of all-time. The soundtrack earned accolades in its own right, winning an Academy Award. Since "Chariots of Fire" was in theaters, the song has gained notoriety for its popularity in slow-motion sequences.
"Chariots of Fire is about guts, determination and belief," said David Puttnam, who produced the film. "Just as the film succeeded in raising spirits and aspirations 30 years ago, I believe it could deliver exactly the same message today. At the heart of the film is the quest for Olympic glory, and I find hard to imagine anything more likely to resonate throughout the country this summer."
With all the excitement the Olympics have brought, the Guardian reports that "Chariots of Fire" was re-released in UK cinemas.
You can watch a video of the famous opening sequence of that film below or just listen to a 5-minute clip of the musical piece, which in its original form is over 20 minutes long.
The song ranked at number one on the Billboard top 200 in 1981 and sold 3 million copies that year, reported The Telegraph.