NEWS
02/05/2018 17:46 EST | Updated 02/05/2018 23:43 EST

COC asks athletes to sing new gender-neutral lyrics to 'O Canada' at Olympics

The Canadian Olympic Committee has asked athletes competing this month at the Winter Games to sing the new gender-neutral lyrics to "O Canada."

Whether or not they actually remember those new words is another question.

"My goal, and I'm very open with saying this, is it's not about winning the medal it's about standing on the podium and singing the national anthem," said bobsledding brakeman Jesse Lumsden on Tuesday. "I can promise you this, the lyrics of that national anthem have been ingrained in me for 36 years. I'm not going to remember that change. For anybody who I might offend, I'm sorry."

The Canadian Senate passed Bill C-210 on Jan. 31, changing the official lyrics of "O Canada" from "in all thy sons command," to the gender neutral "in all of us command." A COC spokesman told The Canadian Press on Monday night that the organization asked athletes to try and sing the new lyrics when they win medals or at other public ceremonies.

Bobsledding pilot Justin Kripps doesn't like his chances of remembering the new words either.

"I would say slim to none. Luckily it's just a few words," said Kripps. "When I sing I kind of just mumble anyway because I have a terrible singing voice."

Competition begins at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Wednesday, with the opening ceremonies held on Friday.