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Canadian figure skaters ‘proud’ to sing new gender-neutral ‘O Canada’ on the podium

February 12, 2018 4:02 PM
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The Canadian Olympic Committee informed athletes about the new official lyrics ahead of the Games in South Korea.

PYEONGCHANG—Canada’s Olympic athletes are still getting used to their national anthem’s new lyrics.

Moments after winning the country’s first gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Games with a dominating performance in the team figure skating event Monday, Patrick Chan searched the new gender-neutral version to “O Canada” on his phone.

“I looked it up, I Googled it really quick to make sure that I knew when it was coming,” he said with a grin. “It’s quite a change when you grow up singing it a certain way.

Bill C-210 passed by the Canadian Senate last month changed the national anthem’s official lyrics from “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.”

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The Canadian Olympic Committee informed athletes about the switch ahead of the Games in South Korea.

While the skaters were all in on trying to sing the new version, it didn’t quite come off as planned.

“We reminded each other before we went up there, ‘OK these are the new words,’” said Eric Radford. “Then we were singing and we got near the end and I was like, ‘Wait where did that lyric go?’ I don’t even remember what I sang.”

Gabrielle Daleman said she took special care to make sure she got the words right.

“I grew up learning French and English, and I mostly sing the national anthem in French,” she said. “But I sang that new part in English and sang the rest in French.”

Scott Moir, who carried the Canadian flag with ice dance partner Tessa Virtue at the opening ceremony, said it was important to set the tone by belting out the new lyrics after their victory.

“We’re all about that,” he said. “We’re so proud of Canada for making that change. That’s why we marched in together with the flag.

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