It takes a lot to anger the Dutch, but NBC’s Katie Couric managed to strike a nerve over comments she made during the Opening Ceremonies.
Now, most people just watch the color and pageantry rather than focusing on the announcers, but Couric’s reasoning for why the Netherlands is so dominant in speedskating stopped everyone. Couric mentioned Amsterdam’s canals and pointed out that skating is “an important mode of transportation” when the canals freeze over.
“It is probably not a news flash to tell you the Dutch are really, really good at speedskating,” she said. “All but five of the 110 medals they’ve won have been on the speedskating 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.”
Hey, at least she knows they don’t all wear wooden shoes.
Dutch people, you see, have feet upon which to walk, bikes on which to ride and cars to drive. Which is good because the canals do not freeze that frequently. Viewers — Dutch and otherwise — let Couric have it, responding hilariously to a tweet by Jos Duijvestein, whose Twitter bio describes him as “Dutch!! Living in Canada. Photographer, motorcyclist, avid reader, animal lover and married to the best lady in the world for 25+ years.”
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