Olympic medallists Max Whitlock and Nile Wilson swapped the sporting arena for the recording studio to help launch the official Team England anthem for next month’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The pair were among a group of athletes who backed up long-jumper and star of ‘The Voice’ Jazmin Sawyers at the prestigious Abbey Road studios to record a new version of ‘Jerusalem’, which has been England’s official anthem for the Commonwealth Games since 2010.
A survey conducted by Team England sponsors npower found that 87 per cent of respondents were unaware that ‘Jerusalem’ is England’s official anthem – despite having voted for it in the 2010 poll in which it pipped ‘God Save The Queen’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.
Sawyers, who won a silver medal in Glasgow in 2014, said: “It’s always an honour representing Team England at the Games and it’s even more special to be singing vocals on ‘Jerusalem’ – especially because I was able to record it in front of my team-mates.”
Whitlock, who kept his own vocal contribution to a minimum during the recording session, won his first three Commonwealth Games gold medals in Glasgow but admitted he had no idea he would be greeted by ‘Jerusalem’ on top of the podium.
Whitlock told Press Association Sport: “I 100 per cent had no idea what the words were and I think I speak for most of the other Team England athletes who won gold medals in Glasgow.
“I think it’s a great idea to re-release the song to raise awareness amongst the athletes and supporters so that we’ll know how to sing along next time – although the singing part is not something I’m particularly good at.”
To avoid potential dischord Sawyers was also backed up by a 54-piece orchestra and a 10-strong professional choir – but it did not stop the team’s more outgoing members including Rio bronze medallist Wilson attempting his own questionable acapella version.
Paralympic swimming champion Ellie Robinson, who will compete in the Commonwealth Games for the first time, said she was overwhelmed by her visit to the prestigious studio which was most famously used and name-checked by The Beatles.
The 16-year-old said: “I’m really big on my music so for a music fan like me to get to go to Abbey Road was like a budding astronaut going to NASA.
“It felt crazy to walk down the same corridor that so many people whom I look up to in the music business have been along too. It was just a really great thing to be a part of.”
:: Tokio Myers and Jazmin Sawyers have re-recorded ‘Jerusalem’, the team’s Official Anthem ahead of Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in association with npower – the proud sponsor of Team England.