The Dutch have fun with Katie Couric's strange comments about speedskating

Yahoo Sports

When it comes to trolling at the Olympics, the Dutch are gold medal winners.

First a pair of Dutch speedskating fans had a laugh at U.S. president Donald Trump’s expense.

Now they’re taking aim at American broadcaster Katie Couric after some incorrect assumptions she made about the country when it was introduced during the Opening Ceremony.

As the Netherlands entered the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium during Friday’s parade of nations, Couric shared a theory on why the Dutch are so good on the oval.

Here’s what she said:

“It is probably not a news flash to tell you the Dutch are really, really good at speed skating. All but five of the 110 medals they’ve won have been on the speed skating oval. Now, ‘Why are they so good?’ you may be asking yourselves. Because skating is an important mode of transportation in a city like Amsterdam which sits at sea level. As you all know, it has lots of canals that can freeze in the winters. So, for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other, and also to have fun.”

Amsterdam residents do sometimes skate on canals when they freeze, but usually for fun and not for actual transportation. (AP Photo)
Amsterdam residents do sometimes skate on canals when they freeze, but usually for fun and not for actual transportation. (AP Photo)

Speedskating is popular in the Netherlands and the Dutch dominate international competition, but frozen canals in Amsterdam are definitely not why. Yes, the Dutch can and do skate on the canals when the ice is thick enough, but the water doesn’t freeze every winter. It’s actually a rarity when they do.

Residents of the Netherlands and the Dutch diaspora humorously responded to Couric’s comment with some additional stereotypes that foreigners might have about the Dutch.





In Couric’s defense, the Dutch sure did use a lot of pictures of them skating on canals to claim they never skate on canals, didn’t they ?

As for why speed skating is actually popular in the Netherlands, Business Insider suggests it could be a simple feedback loop. The Netherlands is good at speed skating, which brings it to the attention of the best athletes in the country, leading them to pursue it. That’s a lot less fun than imagining Dutch people in 2018 skating to and from work (at the windmill or wooden shoes factory, naturally), but that’s the price we all pay for truth.

The Dutch didn’t like Katie Couric’s comments about speedskating (Getty Images)
The Dutch didn’t like Katie Couric’s comments about speedskating (Getty Images)

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