February 28, 2010 / 11:37 PM / 8 years ago

Vancouver Games anthem gets French-language redo

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - The Vancouver Games anthem “I Believe” has been reshot to include French-language lyrics to appease Quebec critics of the Vancouver Games broadcast.

16-year-old Canadian musical prodigy Nikki Yanofsky sings the Canadian national anthem as the Canadian flag is hoisted during the opening ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, February 12, 2010. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

The Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, which is airing the Vancouver Games nationwide, on Saturday shot a new video for the 2010 Olympics theme song “I Believe,” initially sung in English by Canadian teen Nikki Yanofsky.

The new video, “I Believe/J’imagine,” features Yanofsky and Quebec songstress Annie Villeneuve singing in both English and French. Villeneuve earlier recorded a French version of “I Believe,” entitled “J’imagine.”

But after a firestorm of criticism from Quebec that the opening ceremony for the Vancouver Games paid too little attention to French-speaking Quebec, the CTV-led broadcast consortium assembled Yanofsky, Villeneuve and a backing chorus early Saturday morning at 2 a.m. at a deserted Olympic Cauldron, just west of the International Broadcast Center, for a reshoot.

The bilingual version of the theme song as set to be inserted Sunday night into the closing ceremony.

The move comes as the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee makes other last-minute changes to the Sunday night closing ceremony to include more French-language content. That includes Games organizers selecting Quebec figure skater Joannie Rochette — who performed well enough for a bronze medal despite the death of her mother just before the Games began — over a slew of gold medal winners to carry the flag for Canada.

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