Turn it up! Hanyu's hits, Bolt's beats, and much, much more: When Olympians and music combine...
They can perform on the biggest sporting stages in the world. But how do their music capabilities compare?
After the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast were lit up by the vocal stylings of long jumper Jazmin Sawyers, it got us thinking.
Which other Olympians can hold a tune?
The English singer joins a long and illustrious A-list of athletes who hit the high notes - so let's take a look at a select few:
The aforementioned Sawyers recorded England's anthem for the Commonwealth Games at the Abbey Road Studios where The Beatles made musical history:
Jazmin came to the attention of a nation when she appeared on Britain's hit music show The Voice. She was coached by will.i.am after her sensational blind audition brought the house down:
She finished 2nd in Glasgow at the last Commonwealth Games long jump and was looking to go one better on the Gold Coast but finished a disappointed 7th. She hasn't given up, as this determined Instagram post shows:
Here's a cover she did of an Ed Sheeran song, which had the writer's blessing. Away from the track, Sawyers is never far from her guitar:
With bags of ability, a soaring voice and the right attitude, there's no doubt that Jazmin has a bright future and we'll see her stepping effortlessly from the podium to the performance area to play live with millions watching on. Sing on Jaz!
Usain Bolt - Tuned up
The eight-time Olympic champion loves a bit of dancehall and hip hop. You'll often find him in the DJ booth on a night out too! The Jamaican has inspired others to write songs about him as well as laying down his own vocal track too. With a little help from autotune (!), check out this Christmas song the great man recorded a while back:
"He's immortal now..." Relive the moment Usain won his third 100m gold medal at Rio 2016 in this brilliant 1min 55sec mini-doc:
Bolt BlitzThe Three-peat: Jamaica's Usain Bolt becomes the first Olympian to win three consecutive 100m titles.
With an Olympic gold medal safely tucked in Neymar's swag bag, the Brazilian footballing magician has plenty to sing about - and does so, frequently. The PSG star sent the crowd berserk when he made a cameo appearance to sing the massive hit song Ai Se Eu te Pego (If I catch you) with Michel Telo. Watch Neymar make an entrance around 1'32:
Neymar even posted on social media that he was about to launch a music career but 'Neymusico' never really got off the ground, and a video of him playing the piano and singing was removed after negative reviews online. Doesn't mean we love you any less Neymar, please continue to treat life like one long song and dance!
Kobe & Beyonce
Basketball legend and two time Olympic gold medallist Kobe Bryant flirted briefly with a rap career and even mixed Destiny Child's 'Say My Name'... Kobe's bit starts around the 2'40 mark:
You probably hate me now like Nostradamus; I'm just keeping it real with you, honest - Kobe on 'Say My Name (Remix)'
Then there was the one the Lakers hero did with Tyra Banks:
Uh, what I live for? Basketball, beats and broads; From Italy to the US, yes, it's raw; I'm a search for the one that make my wealth feel poor; Who can ignore the spotlight life of Grandma - Kobe on 'Kobe'
Soon after, Kobe went back to his day job.
Yuna Kim - Queen of the mic too
Vancouver 2010 gold medallist Yuna Kim is a Korean superstar with a voice as graceful and elegant as her short programs, she has collaborated with the biggest and best in K-Pop and is queen of more than just the ice as this duet with megastar IU proves (this video has almost 6 million views on YouTube alone!):
Relive Yuna's spine tingling short program performance in Vancouver here:
Yuna Kim's short programme - Women's Figure Skating | Vancouver 2010
Yuna Kim's short programme - Women's Figure Skating | Vancouver 2010Another Yuna Kim's silky performance in her Olympic breakthrough year
Yuzuru Hanyu - empire of ice
And now to Japan's ice prince Yuzuru Hanyu, who isn't shy of breaking into song. The reigning Olympic champion was recorded singing live here, but we're still waiting for the debut album - come on Yuzu, ganbatte!
Here's Hanyu's gold-medal winning performance at PyeongChang. In case you missed it, it'll blow you away:
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) - Gold Medal | Men's Free Skating
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) - Gold Medal | Men's Free SkatingThe men's free skating competition took place at the Gangneung Ice Arena on Saturday 17 February 2018.
Shaquille O'Neal keeps it real
Shaq won a gold medal with Team U.S.A. at Atlanta 1996 and also had a rap career that was more successful than most remember. His first album Shaq Diesel went platinum with more than a million people buying into the Shaq attack on music. Two songs from the debut disc made it into the Top 40, including this bit of bouncy bombast called 'What's up Doc? (Can We Rock?)':
I'm the hooper the hyper protected by Viper,
When I'm out to hoopin' yo ya better decipher
In other words you'd better make a funky decision
Cause I'm a be a Shaq knife and cut you with precision - Shaq on What's up Doc? (Can We Rock?)
The follow up album _Shaq Fu: Da return _didn't do too badly either, with 90's rap heavyweights lending credibility to a project that Shaq insisted on being open and inclusive: "I don't want to rap by myself, my concept is to rap with all my favourite artists." The big man got what he wanted with rap aristocracy Method Man and RZA from the Wu Tang Clan involved as was Redman and Warren G.
Still not impressed? What about Shaq's third album, You can't stop the reign, where he managed to get two of the biggest in the business to collaborate: Jay Z and the Notorious B.I.G.
You can't stop it, block it, when I drop it,
Anytime I go rhyme for rhyme on a topic,
You ain't even fit to step in Shaq's arena... Shaq on Can't Stop The Reign
Bobby Brown, Mobb Deep, Rakim, and even the King of Pop himself Michael Jackson lined up to collaborate with the big Shaqtus, leaving him with a discography almost as big as his trophy cabinet.
Shaun White by night
Superstar snowboarder Shaun White also plays guitar for band Bad Things, the three time gold medallist says he loves playing live.
Here's the band's single 'Caught Inside'. Judge for yourselves...
Watch Shaun White’s unbelievable run at PyeongChang that won him his third gold medal:
Shaun White: My PyeongChang Highlights
Shaun White: My PyeongChang HighlightsAmerican Snowboarder, Shaun White, won an emotional third Olympic Gold in the half-pipe.
Chris Mears - man of many talents
British diver Chris Mears has an incredible story to tell. Resuscitated six times by paramedics after a ruptured spleen when he was just 15, he was given a 5% chance of survival but managed to make it out alive and went on to win a gold medal at Rio 2016. Mears combines his passion for dancing and DJing with a love of music production, he's signed up to a label and shares a manager with Nicole Scherzinger.
Find out more about Chris' captivating story here:
“I was resuscitated six times in the operating theatre”
“I was resuscitated six times in the operating theatre”GB's Olympic champ Chris Mears came close to death and since then he’s lived for his great passions: diving and music.
Oscar de la Hoya - 'The Golden Boy'
A gold medal in Barcelona 1992 gave the Mexican-American a taste for success and earned him the nickname 'The Golden Boy'.
But apart from winning multiple boxing world titles in different weight divisions, Oscar also found time to record a Grammy-nominated album in 2000 with the eponymous title Oscar de la Hoya. It featured songs in English and Spanish and even had a little help from the Bee Gees.
TV host and former Saved by the Bell star Mario Lopez tells the story of Oscar's gold medal and why it meant so much:
The Bryan brothers - what a double act!
115 doubles tennis titles including gold at London 2012, more than a 1000 wins, the longest spell at No.1 in the doubles rankings ever. Mike and Bob Bryan have etched their names into sporting history.
But that's not the end of their talents. They also play in a band, imaginatively called The Bryan Brothers Band, which is easy enough to remember.
The delightful double act also managed to release their debut album “Let it Rip” back in 2009 with Bob on keyboard and Mike on lead guitar and drums.
The brothers convinced Counting Crows drummer Jim Bogios to record and play with them, but Bogios isn't the only big-name collaboration they can name drop at tour events, their hilarious song 'Autograph' features fellow Olympic medallists and guest rappers Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Have a good giggle here:
They say you should save the best to last. So how about this. Nine-time Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis singing... in the gym! Take a look.
Lewis also made the top 5 of our totally unofficial 'Olympian Golden Greats' list. See what you think:
Olympians and music: a match made in heaven.