Carrie Underwood admitted she researched inspiring sports speeches when writing "The Champion," but she also looked a lot closer to home. The Oklahoma native says that her own family also helped inspire the anthemic tune.
"I think it started with my parents," Underwood says. "They just worked really hard and did everything they could to provide for us and make our lives better and give us every opportunity that they could. In a different sense, my husband, on and off the ice, he's definitely a champion of mine. I see the dedication that he put into his work playing hockey. I admire him so much for that. To see how much he put into, and the love, that he put into his God-given ability was just very inspiring."
Underwood's husband, Mike Fisher, who helped lead the Nashville Predators to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017, used "The Champion" to help get warmed up before his games.
"My husband loved it," notes Underwood. "He would listen to it before playoff games. He was like 'I want everyone to hear it!' and I had to tell him, 'You can't do that. You can't play it in the locker room. I'm sorry.' But that was a good indicator that we were on the right track."
Underwood and Fisher both are used to performing in front of plenty of fans, but the singer insists people with ordinary jobs can be champions as well.
"I think a champion is just somebody who just works hard," says Underwood. "I think it starts there. You have to have that work ethic. You have to know what you're capable of and then try to push those limits in every way possible. You have to spend the time, you have to have the dedication, you have to take every opportunity that you possibly can. You have to be smart about it. Just having that drive is what really makes a champion, and I think that's somewhere in every single one of us. No matter what we're trying to accomplish or overcome, we've all got that somewhere in us, and it's tapping into that that will make you a champion."
Underwood co-wrote the song with Brett James, Chris DeStefano and Ludacris, who also appears on the track with Underwood. The song will be used for both Super Bowl LII on Sunday, Feb. 4, and the 2018 Winter Olympics, which begin on Feb. 9.
Download "The Champion" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Instagram/CarrieUnderwood