The anthem that might have been

Gino Gerussi sings his original song, For Those Who Believe, during an Olympic assembly at Belmont Elementary School.



Music has been an important element of the 2010 Winter Olympics so far. There are nightly concerts throughout the Lower Mainland, the formal ceremonies have featured plenty of performances and even the television networks have got into the act.

One omnipresent element in CTV’s coverage of the Games has been Nikki Yanofsky’s song, I Believe, which was selected as the broadcast consortium’s theme for the Games.

However, Langley musician Gino Gerussi has a song of his own. For Those Who Believe was in line, he said, to be a prominent element of the Games and perhaps even the network theme before backroom politics interfered.

“Some people from LiveNation heard it and they came up to me and said, ‘You know the Olympics are going to be in Vancouver. You should submit that song, it’s absolutely perfect,’” he said.

“At one point, the song was going to be represented well in the Olympics, and then management and political things got in the way. But it was perfect.”

Gerussi co-wrote For Those Who Believe with Miles Black in 2007, but he wasn’t thinking of any Olympic possibilities.

“It’s actually about me wanting to quit music,” he said.

“It’s a song to inspire people not to quit, no matter what they’re doing.”

Gerussi said he was devastated when he learned that his song not only wouldn’t be selected for the theme, but that it wouldn’t even be represented in the Olympics.

“(In) the music industry, there are no rules or regulations. There’s a lot of empty promises.”

Gerussi did find a way to share his song with a small part of the world, though. Earlier this week, he performed it in an Olympic ceremony at his seven-year-old son Nico’s school, Belmont Elementary. Nico accompanied him on the drums. You can watch video of their performance at langleytimes.com.

Gerussi said he’s still disappointed at how things worked out, but he’s moved on.

“Everything happens for a reason,” he said.

Disappointment isn’t new to Gerussi or his family, though; they’re all involved in various forms of entertainment, and have often had to cope with rejection. His uncle, Bruno Gerussi, starred in The Beachcombers, which was the longest-running dramatic series ever made for Canadian television and was syndicated around the world, but was canceled in 1990 while it was still popular.

“My whole family across Canada is all in the entertainment business,” Gerussi said.

“It’s not the greatest life, but it is fun.”

“I started playing drums when I was five,” he said. “Then I started taking opera lessons at 12.”

Gerussi’s found plenty of success over the years, and he currently has several songs in rotation on Canadian radio, including a cover of Billy Joel’s She’s Got A Way, which has received heavy play on Vancouver’s 103.5 QM/FM. Over the years, though, he has considered giving up many times, which led him to write For Those Who Believe in 2007. He said this latest setback has inspired him, not knocked him down.

“You know what it does? It just motivates you more because there’s so many good things; they’re not all bad,” he said.

Rather than turning him off the Olympics, the rejection of his song has just caused Gerussi to shift his focus.

“We’re going to submit it to the London one now,” he said.

Gerussi’s lyrics reflect this optimism, and they show that he certainly has faith in his future chances. As he sings in For Those Who Believe, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

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