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London 2012: Should athletes be forced to sing the national anthem?

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The London 2012 Olympics have already been an astonishing success for the home nation.

At the time of writing, the national anthem has been played 22 times for Team GB athletes stepping up to the podium to receive gold medals. But many winners haven't joined in the singing.

Piers Morgan

© PA Images

Bradley Wiggins

© PA Images



Does it really matter? New York resident Piers Morgan certainly thinks so. Not only has he donated £1,000 to Great Ormond Street Hospital every time a British gold medallist sings the anthem, he also has taken to Twitter to chide the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy for choosing not to do so.

"I love the Scots, Welsh, English and N-Irish. But sorry, when you play for Great Britain, you sing the damn GB anthem - which is GSTQ. End," he exploded this week.

Andy Murray mumbled his way through 'God Save the Queen', much to Morgan's delight, but it's interesting to note that the greatest ever Olympian Michael Phelps hasn't felt the need to belt out 'The Star-Spangled Banner' 18 times to mark each of his golds.

Morgan seems to think the reluctance of some athletes to sing the anthem is unpatriotic. We're not so sure.

The Queen (left) stands with the audience to sing the national Anthem

© PA Images / John Stillwell/PA Wire



Some may have ideological objections to singing about either God or the Queen (as is their right) but most are likely too busy tearfully enjoying the moment to remember the fiddly syntax of "Thy choicest gifts in store / On her be pleased to pour".

Others might think that the anthem is best enjoyed hand-on-heart, rather than with their awkward warbling over the top.

Should Olympic athletes be cajoled into singing the national anthem as a matter of pride when receiving their gold medal? Vote in our poll and let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.

Poll: Should Olympic winners be forced to sing their national anthem?
Yes - it's a matter of pride and patriotism18.59%
No - it's a personal choice up to each athlete81.41%


Photo gallery - London 2012 Olympics celebratory poses:

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