Wrong Anthem Played For Alberto Contador, History of Mishaps
The victory of this year's Tour de France champion Alberto Contador was marred when the wrong anthem was played at the celebration ceremony in Paris today; but, history shows that anthem mishaps in the sports industry are more common than one might think.
The 2009 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador of Spain was standing hand to his heart on the podium today on the Champes-Elysees waiting to get his trophy, about to savor his second Tour de France victory, when all of a sudden the wrong anthem started to play. Contador is from Spain, yet the Danish national anthem was played.
A video of Contador's reaction while listening to the Danish anthem play has surfaced on YouTube. From the video, it appears Contador was no less surprised than everybody else to hear the wrong anthem play. At one point, he started looking around with a smile on his face, trying to understand what was going on. And, while Contador appeared unfazed by the mishap after all, the incident definitely spoiled the moment for him. The Tour de France organizers realized the wrong anthem was played when Contador's brother notified them of the mishap. The organizers tried to redeem themselves by playing the Spanish anthem when Contador's team Astana was recognized. It is not clear yet if the Tour organizers have apologized to Contador for the mishap.
The television station said Contador, the 2007 Tour champion, himself alerted tour organisers of the error.
Tour organizers were tipped off by his older brother, Fran, that the wrong anthem was played at the Tour awards ceremony after Sunday's race finish, Contador's spokesman said.
Organizers sought to rectify the problem by playing Spain's anthem when Contador's Astana team was recognized on the podium.
It appears today's anthem mix-up was not the only case in the history of the sports. The anthem faux pas have been quite common in the past.
--In June of 2008, the Lebanese national soccer team had to listen to the Syrian national anthem before their World Cup qualifying match with Saudi Arabia. Of course, this mistake on the part of organizers was even more ominous, as there are political and ethnic tensions between Syria and Lebanon.
--In November of 2003, the wrong Spanish anthem was played at the Davis Cup. The version played was the pre-civil war republican anthem, which angered many Spanish fans.
--At the 2004 Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Czech Republic, the royal anthem was played instead of the national anthem of Denmark.
--The winner of the 2007 Boston marathon Russian Lydia Grigoryeva had to listen to Russia's old anthem used before year 2000 instead of the new national anthem adopted from the Soviet era.
--On the podium of the 2009 F1 race, British anthem was played for the Austrian winner Helmut Marko.
--During the 2008 UEFA Euro 2008 soccer championships, the Soldier's Song was played for the team from Northern Ireland instead of the national anthem -- God Save the Queen.