From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Bjork at the Olympics -- video and mp3

August 16, 2004 12:29 PM

I didn't even know the Olympics started Saturday night, let alone that Bjork was performing. So I tracked down the performance, and provide the video here in Quicktime (56k, 200k), and the audio in MP3 (192k, 5.5MB). This is the BBC broadcast. I heard somewhere that NBC talked over the performance.

Associated Press, 8/13 5:34 PM ET

The song is "Oceania" from her upcoming album Medulla -- street date 8/31/04.

More from the archive in Music.

Bjork at the Olympics -- video and mp3 (08.16.2004)

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Read the 73 comments.

Mouse - Chicago:

I shouldnt say this, but I wanted to blow away Couric and Kostas for their inane chatter all during Bjork's performance. They firstly made fun of what she wore a couple of years ago at the Oscars (who cares?) then they started joking that if the athletes pulled the globe "cloth" to fast they would yank her off the platform. Then they laughed and giggled like little school children and then it cut to an advert. WTF? I always enjoy the opening ceremony's of the Olympics, (dont ask way) but this was ridiculous. CHeers for the BBC clip.

Mon Aug 16 2004 2:14 PM


Both Costas and Couric are annoying.

Mon Aug 16 2004 3:15 PM


Seriously, WTF !!!
I am so glad other people shared in the frustration of having Bjork's portion of the opening ceremonies drowned out by C and C's inane blather.

Mon Aug 16 2004 4:40 PM


I'm very glad that I didn't see the NBC version because I would be very pissed. Their language as the various countries were parading was bad enough and I shut it off after about 20 min. Would you write "HAHA ;)" on a work of art in a museum? Seriously NBC, just because you have a monopoly on the coverage in the US doesn't mean that you can insert stupid comments and degrade what is going on.

Mon Aug 16 2004 9:56 PM


I missed the opening ceremonies on television (sounds like a good thing) but had wanted to see Bjork's performance. Thanks so much for posting the BBC clip!

Tue Aug 17 2004 6:47 AM

Clara Frenk:

Bjork is magnificent. She truly personifies the term "sui generis". Thanks for posting this, Jim.

Wed Aug 18 2004 11:54 AM


Wow, I missed it and Im glad. What I'm hearing here about fucking US coverage wouldve seriously pissed me off. Our media clones with their posturing and their poor showings, I can't be bothered. Didn't want to be left out from seeing such a momentous performance by the one songbird of my deepest delight. I was really really pleased to find your site quite promptly upon doing a search for the footage. She's such a baller. Bjorkula up, Couric waaay dooown biatch.

Thu Aug 19 2004 11:18 PM


Thanks for this. Anyone whether the entire Olympic opening ceremony is available online?

Fri Aug 20 2004 3:56 PM


You Guys are so right, and I thought Bjork's dress was beautiful. Sadly, I watched the NBC version and like you guys said their comments were pissing me off.

Fri Aug 20 2004 10:04 PM


Anyone else think that a lawsuit by the internet media as well as the radio and cable tv media should be made against NBC for monopolizing the market. Hell, some of us would like to see other sports other than the same old swimming, gymnastics, volleyball, and track events, even though I do like the javeline and sometimes the shotput, what about the judo events or archery. Just wish NBC would not be scaredy cats in discovering that some people would like to watch something other than what they air, and maybe live as well, after NBC these things only happen every 4 years or 2 depending how you look at it. What do you guys think

Fri Aug 20 2004 10:24 PM

Byerk bias:

Alot of people have said to me that with this performance at the olympics, Bjork is in her own little world and she has no relevance to such an event, however she actually does express exactly what the olympics is all about in her song, movements and the video projected- that in the end, race does not matter and that we are all the same creatures.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, however I believe they should at least open their eyes, minds and ears before they open their mouths. If you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all - Judging someone by the clothing they wear is a really cheap thing to do - never read a book by its cover.
thanks for the online video it was tres magnifique! merci!

Sat Aug 21 2004 7:37 AM


Thanx so much..I"ve been looking for this all over and found nothing but jokes about the dress!
It's so sad that most of the world is so scared of individuality! People hate what dont understand....I am so glad to read all this comments from people who can make up thier own mind..

Sun Aug 22 2004 8:17 PM

jenni - dublin:

thanks for posting the clip. I missed it live. bjork did a fantastic job! And great job to Sophia Kokosalaki (a london based greek designer) for making such an amazing dress. The best thing about living in dublin v the us has to be the lack of fox news, etc. laugh-o-matic newscasters. not that irish tv is any good for that matter. its called lets rip off the bbc as many ways as possible but lets not be too british in the process. bollox.

Fri Aug 27 2004 7:55 AM

Joseph A. Haran, Jr.:

Thank you, Mr. Gilliam, for providing these media records of Björk's wonderful performance at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. I, too, was stunned by the disrespect which oozed from the National Broadcasting Company's announcers; but, as you surely know, it's the program's producers rather than the announcers who decide what will be said and when. The adolescent behavior of those announcers was not spontaneous, but came ordered from much higher levels.

Fri Aug 27 2004 8:42 PM

James Salem:

Too true one and all! I am ashamed of the commentary NBC provides and find it disgraceful as a US citizen. Thank you for providing the BBC clip. I miss seeing clips without someone's viewpoint directly attached to it.

A lot of "Americans" are sick of being treated like idiots by their own media and bamboozled into thinking more is better.

Less commentary allows for deeper appreciation and interpretation.

Again, thank you all.

Fri Aug 27 2004 9:46 PM


I was so excited to find your site and that you actually had the footage that was claimed! I would have loved to have seen this performance on my parent's hi-def TV, but after hearing about what NBC did I'm glad I missed it and was able to catch a part of it from BBC...I've always liked the British more anyways! Great website! I can't wait to explore it more!

Sun Aug 29 2004 5:26 PM


[email protected]

if you want to write to NBC about their poor behavior during the opening and closing events you should write to the address above, it won't change for the next olympics if all don't express our thoughts.
it's great, i just wrote a letter and i feel better than just being annoyed by it

(i guess i'm feeling proactive with the convention in town)

Mon Aug 30 2004 6:45 AM


I am so incredibly ecited to finally see this clip. I adore bjork and was saddened to find out i missed viewing such an amazing performance. I was lucky enough to see her in concert last year after only dreaming about it for about 10 yrs and was blown away by her performance. I cried through the larger portion of the show. She is a beautiful artist on so many levels and i am glad to see her push the envelope as she does. Who else could pull off such an amazing gown with such grace? I for one am happy that i wasn't submitted to hearing the ridiculous and ignorant bullshit that was said by those embarasses me as a n american.

Mon Aug 30 2004 10:36 PM


How telling is this of the nuisance factor of those "reporters"? -My son and I actually did have the tv on that night, looking forward to the usual spectacle of the opening ceremony. As soon as those idiots (Couric and the other one) started talking we looked at each other and said, "Lets watch something else." We couldn't stand listening to them for 5 MINUTES! So we didn't watch any of it. Now there's two people who are in their own little world. It completely turned us off to watching the olympics altogether! I didnt know anyone felt as i did until i read about the Bjork performance issue. Bjork's superior mind created something meaningful for us all to enjoy and meditate on during this special event (which we missed because of two small minded, self-important tv puppets) only to have that precious piece of art defaced by some inane comments. I personally expect better from educated people. NBC would have done better to recruit Beavis and Butthead for the job if thats the kind of coverage they were going for. Well, i was happy to find the un"cut" version here on your website. Thanks

Tue Aug 31 2004 7:55 PM


THANK YOU SO MUCH, as an American I am embarassed by many things. George Bush is one, and after the Olympics NBC and Cunty Couric are two and three. As a long time Bjork fan it
really gets me going when years after the Oscars the only fucking thing that they can say about Bjork is how she wore that dress. I could be optimistic and say, "Hey, Julia won that night and shouldn't, but they are still talking about Bjork", but I won't.
I was so hoping that Cunty would cover the javelin competition and get hit smack between the eyes with a stray pole so that 20 years from now, at the javelin throw they could say "Hey, remember what that stupid American newscaster who wouldn't shut the fuck up got hit in the head with a javelin? That was cool!!!!" But alas, it did not happen, I hate that bitch with a passion and hope she reunites with her dead husband really soon.

Tue Aug 31 2004 9:35 PM


I am extremly annoyed at the amount of ridicule bjork gets. At least shes not like other celebrities with their crappy diets and their boring love lifes. I thought MEDULLA was a great cd.

Fri Sep 3 2004 1:02 PM


jim thank you verry much .... i was most distraught to find that bjork was in the olymic opening ceromony... and that i had ignorantly missed it... you have saved my selfworth

Sat Sep 4 2004 3:22 AM

James - London:

Thanks for posting - missed the performance and have been looking for it. American born it always dissapoints me the way our mainstream media are ready to ridicule art and its expression.

All credit to Bjork for creating something about the true meaning of the Olympics - and more plaudits to the Greeks for inviting a non- grteek to perform on the day they opened to the world

Sun Sep 5 2004 1:21 PM


Thanks for posting this, I was really disappointed to hear I had missed her performance but after reading the above, I feel I missed nothing. Remember, most great artists are misunderstood and ridiculed in their time, think Mozart, Picasso, too many to list. I believe Bjork belongs in these ranks and will be shown, in history to be one of the great artists of our time. Obviousl, these puppet "journaists" won't be remembered 10 years from now.

Mon Sep 6 2004 10:06 PM

Martin from Latvia:

I love Bjork, she is great! She is so original and perfect! She is definitely my favorite singer! There is not any singer similar to her. That’s great. Thank you for videos and mp3!

Tue Sep 7 2004 6:31 AM


It was such a pity that the performance was not presented on the night the way it was meant to. You see, the platform on which Bjork stood should have risen slowly and her dress should have unfolded vertically as well (not only horizontally, which is what we saw in the form of the globe cloth). This is how it was presented to us during the dress rehearsal a few days before the opening ceremony - and it was pure magic. But it seems that the lifting mechanism did not work due to some technical failure! Anyway, it was great just having Bjork in Greece!

Tue Sep 7 2004 9:45 AM


The NBC coverage made me very annoyed as well. I would love to see someone ask Costas and/or Couric why they thought it would be appropriate to ruin the coverage and insult Bjork's performance. Too bad it only pops up in individual sites like this. Thanks for the video!

Tue Sep 7 2004 1:00 PM


Thanks for the Bjork clip, and Outfoxed, too... Generally I found the entire job the announcers from USA did at the Olympics to be rude and insensitive. Their horrible questions to the athletes and lack of tact horrified us again and again. Hopefully in 2008 the announcers will have been coached in manners.

Fri Sep 10 2004 3:47 PM


I had the opportunity to watch both the european broadcast of the opening ceremony and the NBC one. I have to say that what they did to bjork's performance which was to completely destroy it they did to the rest of the event. They edited out many scenes of the ceremony, the artistic part, the fireworks throughout the show, the oaths etc. etc. Seeing the ceremony without commercials and the way it was supposed to be broadcasted was a completely different experience. Hope a DVD comes out.

Sat Sep 11 2004 12:29 AM


well, the canadaian version from what i can remember was fine, they didn't talk through it or anything.....her performance was outstanding tho!

Sat Sep 11 2004 7:05 PM


DOES ANYONE HAVE THIS FILE IN ANYTHING OTHER THAN A QUICKTIME FORMAT????? My computer for some reason won't let me see the visuals but just hear the audio -- I've downloaded all the Quicktime updates and plug-ins that I can and still can't see the video???


Sun Sep 12 2004 5:41 PM


THANK U SO MUCH!! I missed her performance on T.V. So thanx a million for posting that here! :) I love Bjork and her music. People should shut up about her. She's her own person, unlike those other celebrities.

Mon Sep 13 2004 1:29 PM


thank you thank you thank you. i have been looking for these since the opening and closing. i stayed up almost 24 hours on that day looking for any coverage from msnbc, nbc, cnn, bbc, hell even fox and i couldn't get one single feed. maybe because i live in asia that's why. goodness, i was almost tempted to fork over money just so i can see the OC and CC from NBC and i just found out i actually have to live in the states for them to accept my international visa. the olympics is supposed to be less about national grandstanding and more about international solidarity, especially during the OC and CC. thank you for letting some of us who weren't able to see the olympics have a little taste of it.

Sat Sep 18 2004 4:27 PM


I MIssed the live performance but according to everyone that commented above I woul've been pissed off too. Thanks for sharing this with us whoever got it out there. Bjork is ahead of her time and ahead of all music genres period... the bitch can do whatever she wants and I'll be loyal to her genious till the end.

Tue Sep 21 2004 2:39 PM

Asaf, Israel:

I love Bjork. Thank you so much!
Bjork is Original & True. that's why stupid people like those reporters has problem with her.
I admire her for being herself.

Sat Sep 25 2004 4:28 PM



Thu Sep 30 2004 9:14 AM


thank you for posting the performance! i missed the opening ceremonies too. is it just me, or did bjork lip sync the song ? ? ? ?


Mon Oct 4 2004 3:26 PM


yea, i got that same impression.
during several parts, it just seemed REALLY lip synched.

Wed Oct 6 2004 12:39 AM


oh, and by the way, Outfoxed was utterly brilliant. i felt sick to my stomach and hopelessly angry after having watched it.
nice work ;)

Wed Oct 6 2004 12:41 AM


hey thanks for posting this!!

Thu Oct 7 2004 1:43 PM

Brian 'eEL' Albright:

Thanks for posting! I finallly got to seee this.

I was absolutely pisssed offf to hear the NBC dorks ruining the whole absolutely perfect opening ceremony. I watched very briefly and left the rooom because alll they did was talk about stupit sh*t. Misssed BJÖRK because of it, but it was probably for the best 'cause NBC would've received a real nasty phone calll immmediately!!

We should alll email them about our being upset...

Thu Oct 14 2004 10:56 AM

Solvi Borgar:

No I´m sure she didn´t lip sync. I think she´s very against it. She´s not like many other artists, wich is one of the things that make her so great, and the thing I love about her is that she promotes peer to peer mp3 file sharing, she has spoken against the big corporates that controle the music industry in many interviews. She is one of the greatest artist of our genre. (of course I´m biast being from Iceland and all :)

Tue Oct 19 2004 3:39 PM

Michael Mullowney:

Thanks for the post of the video. I heard about it after the fact, but I see know it was a waste of my time waiting for the download. Ohhh... yes. I absolutely love and respect bjork to death, but what the hell. When Britney and Ashlee lipsync... who gives a crap? They're all about image anyhow, but Bjork is s brilliant artist. Why bjork? WHY!!!????? Not you too!!??
Soon there will be no singers, no musicians, no dancers... only actors who pretend to sing, pretend to play, pretend to dance. Hell, this isn't even really me typing, I got a stunt double to post this comment for me. Can't you tell? My typing fingers are totally out of sync with the actual letters. Bring on the holograms!! Plug ME IN!!!

Thu Oct 28 2004 12:25 AM

josh and kristen:

Bjork is so brave! thanks jim!

Thu Nov 4 2004 9:14 AM

josh and kristen:

Bjork is so brave! thanks jim!

Thu Nov 4 2004 9:21 AM


I love bjork in a non-gay way. i can't believe that the first time i heard of Bjork was when i found out that she's lauri ylonen's (leader singer from the rasmus) hero! and the first time i heard her sing was at the olympics! but don't feel bad ppl coz no one knew she was going to perform at the opening coz it was a surprise. i'm really glad i didn't see the american version of the olympic opening but i saw the russian one, and they let her sing

Sun Nov 7 2004 12:40 PM


thanks for this file!!! i was looking for a nice mp3 rip of this performance

Sat Nov 27 2004 10:50 AM


thank you so much for the video clip. i was, of course, very heartbroken when i heard i'd missed it. for those who were concerned about her lip syncing the performance... i really doubt that she would've lip sync-ed it...i know she kinda looks "funny" when she sings ("funny" in the best bjork kinda way, of course), but if you've ever seen her either in concert or on video, it's just the way she sings! oh and how i love it :) thanks again

Tue Nov 30 2004 12:09 PM

Hudson Matimos:

eu adoro bjork sou fanatico
ou melhor sou um brasileiro que
idolatro a bjork !!!!!!!!!!!!
e no ano passado ela veiu aqui mais eu năo vi
entre ai no meu blog:
al about bjork!

Tue Jan 18 2005 7:57 AM


I had the opportunity to speak with the assistant director of the athletes' parade part of the oppening ceremony. Bjork was required to lip-synch due to the high risk of singing live in an event the magnitude of this. Due to all the media involved and the frequencies required all the artistic parts were recorded (It is more complicated than this but honestly this is what I understood). She was given the option to wear a fake microphone and she refused.

Mon Jan 24 2005 6:15 PM


I can't believe the lack of appreciation for her performance. The song is so beautiful. I didn't even know that she opened up for the Olympics!

Wed Jan 26 2005 9:51 AM

Juan Ignacio:

Helo I´m from buenos aires
do you know where I can find the bjork's performances at the academy awards playing I've seen it all.
Please if you caan taks.

Wed Jan 26 2005 11:10 AM


the announcers are such a-holes. they unlike bjork dont have the guts to perform for as large an audience as bjork did. my only question for them is "how does it feel that your going to die a virgin?"

Sat Mar 5 2005 1:33 PM


I think that she always does an amazing job in her performanses ! it is a shame that some people have such a close minds. it always happens when somebody is different. when somebody tries to change the way everything works and the only way to fulfill their pathetic lifes is critizing other people's work (BJORK0!! she is an amazing artist and a lot of people know that even if some other people don't appreciate it.

Thu May 5 2005 11:19 PM


i watched the nbc version, but i had downloaded a version from france before it aired in the US, so i felt guilty i had already seen it & didnt wait for the us broadcast, then i went to tbe big screen and pumped up the bass when bjork finally came after a long wait, and then katie couric and that other guy just talked, and thy ddint show alot of bjork, mostly just overhead shots. you can tell that america still doesnt take her seriousley,

Thu Jun 2 2005 2:34 AM


Im a long time fan of Bjorks work since her debut as a solo music artist. She is the only one that could have pulled off such a wonderful and mesmorizing performace at the Athens Olymics last year. And after hearing a month ago that she performed at the opening ceramony, I was like. "Are you kidding?! I f*cking missed it!" So now i finally got to see it and that made me so much more happy.
Bjork is one if not only the most beautiful artists alive. Unfortunately some people degrade and ruin that beauty for others who are a fan of her work in America. Couric, if your looking at this, I think you and that other dipshit are the rudest people in American News. Americans are so afraid of the individuality that Bjork shows... It just sickens me...

Wed Jun 8 2005 4:40 PM

Robert Corrina:

AHHHHH! A thousand thanks for the Video. I'm not surprised that the toadies of the corporate press tried to diminish what Bjork did for the world, its future, and its culture, by commisioning and performing "Oceania"

It is most gratifying how afraid the forces of evil seem to be of Bjork, is it not?

Let's all remember that this was a historic performance and a very unique protest showing the value of life and brotherhood and by contrast the way destruction dehumanizes not only the direct victims but every one of us.

Let's support Bjork and each other. We have much to do and, some say, not much time to do it with. It seems that quibbiling over lipsyncing is missing the point.

My love and good hopes to you all,
Robert Corrina

Fri Jul 15 2005 12:58 AM

cesar artist rivera:

Any how she did lip sing <<<<<<<<<<<<but i dont care .bjork is a singing *god* with a verry important mesage to the world..self expresion art..uniqeness .the people who truely love the ice diva.know she has proved her self as a singer time after what she felt a little to good to sing for a bunch of people she dident know..she can do that shes bjork she dont care..

Fri Aug 5 2005 11:23 AM


Thanks for posting this!! I never got to see it originally aired and hadn't seen it until now. I just bought Medulla on CD and really like Oceana. Thanks!!

Sat Aug 6 2005 11:14 AM


Does anyone know where i can watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony online? What did everyone think of Tiesto's performance? I never got to see it but would like to know how good it was

Fri Aug 26 2005 8:17 AM



Sun Aug 28 2005 9:12 PM


AquĂ­ en MĂŠxico, no hubo ese tipo de comentarios destructivos e idiotas, lo Ăşnico malo es que JoaquĂ­n LĂłpez Doriga hablĂł durante el clĂ­mzx de la canciĂłn...despuĂŠs de que ella dice "sweet like harmony, melt into flesh...."

I didn't hear the commentaries of that bitch "couric" (i really don't know who is she)but, i can figure that she's(or he) an idiot by reading all this reviews.

BjĂśr eres lo mejor!!!!!
(i hope her to come to Mexico.....someday)

Sat Oct 1 2005 2:18 AM


thankyou THAKYOU THANKYOUALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xooxxo

Sat Oct 15 2005 1:06 AM


Yeah, seriously. This rocks alot... And even though it isn't relevant anymore, the NBC announcers really had me fuming during the opening ceremonies too. The same kind of thing happened on MTV's showing of Live8, when the announcers kept interrupting Pink Floyd to remind us how momentus their reunion was.

Wed Dec 28 2005 1:18 PM


and PS... to all of you criticizing BjĂśrk for lip-syncing this performance, I think you will get the rights to play critic when you sing live with the world watching.

Wed Dec 28 2005 1:38 PM


thank you , i loved Bjok and couldn't grab this kinda things in my country ;-)

Love ya :-P

Tue Jan 17 2006 3:03 PM


hey any idea wherre i can get the opening ceremony video from?

Fri Jan 27 2006 3:07 AM


Thank you Jim - I've done a more recent search and your clip remains the ultimate way of viewing this awesome performance online. I'm so happy to see so many fans celebrating her triumphant "Oceania"!

Sun Feb 26 2006 10:09 PM


I'm in the same boat as the three people who asked this before me, but if anybody knows of ANY PLACE where I can get my hands on the entire opening ceremony during the Athens games, please do share with us. I've been dieing to see the Cube Man again ever since the Torino games came on.

Mon Feb 27 2006 4:07 AM


My sister made the dress for Bjork, and I kept a close eye during all the preparations. All I have to say is that both my sister and Bjork are two very hard working and responsible ladies that believe in what they are doing. The dress and the song were, as far as me concerns, the most contemporary and refreshing elements that I ve seen on an opening ceremony (anyone interested for comparisons with Atlanta's opening ceremony?). It s a shame , especially in the States that the opening celemony was not shown and appreciated appropriately. Objectively as possibly, I thought it was very good. Anyway I am sure there are on the internet a double DVD of the ceremony for somebody you asked for it.

Mon Dec 25 2006 8:22 AM


If you wanna bjork songs never published?

Sat Feb 3 2007 7:32 PM


marvelous performance really. (i never even clocked the olympics that year, so this is news to me).

bjork is a rare thing, indeed. we're lucky.

Sat Mar 10 2007 2:27 AM


It's so great to see so many people appreciate Bjork for who/what she is. I got my first CD from a friend last year, and i could kick myself for not discovering her sooner. I can't wait to see her next endeavour!

She truly is an artist. (not just a musician)

Mon Apr 23 2007 2:16 PM

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