Comments about ‘Dutch speedskating coach said the U.S. won no medals because the country loves 'a foolish sport like American football'’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 21 2014 11:20 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

"Because they don’t invest the kind of money in winter sports that they do in football, he asserts they will never be as successful as other countries like the Netherlands."

The Netherlands has 22 medals, only one in something that isn't speedskating. Talk about being a one-trick pony...

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

says a guy that has dedicated his life to skating around a sheet of ice


Herriman, UT

Football, there is no greater game. Obviously football players are much more likely to get injured than speed skaters. However, they are even more likely to learn more of life's lessons (notice I did not say that you won't learn life lessons competing in speed skating. I said you will learn more in football), build more relationships, and certainly have a lot more fun! He can have his Olympic gold medals every four years, but I already don't remember his name.

utah dane
Herriman / USA, UT

I think the Dutch coach is absolutely correct. I know that if all of those 300+ pound football players turned their attention to ice skating that the USA would have won every gold medal in the sport.

Columbus, OH

He's right that the US will probably never unseat them in speed skating. We also won't beat Korea and China in table tennis. But it does seem a bit foolish to say the U.S. can't compete at the Olympics because of how much passion we put into football, considering that the U.S. is always at or near the top of the medal count. It also seems silly given the fact that the Netherlands actually spends more time fussing over soccer than speed skating--a sport they will only very rarely, if ever, win a world cup or Olympic medal in.

Glendora, CA

I once saw a bumper sticker that said, "If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much". I wonder if it was on his car.

Herbert Gravy
Salinas, CA

Just let them try skating on the "frozen tundra" in Green Bay!

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

Was there any football players competing in the olympic speed skating? What kind of talk is that? No, I didn't complained to anyone but wondering what went wrong in this event for USA.

Cedar City, UT

Though he will be ridiculed across the country for this, he has a point. There is only so much athletic talent to spread around sport and if you pry top athletes away from Olympic sports with money and fame, of course your prospects will be diminished.

I'm absolutely certain that numerous athletes could have medaled in Olympic events had they not been playing professional football. Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders come to mind as top famous candidates.

But that's only a negative situation if you think American football is preferable to the generally more basic human feats of athleticism displayed in the Olympics.

Spanish Fork, UT

@morpunkt, that was probably my car you saw :) Hey, for such a tiny country, we're not doing all that bad, huh.

Salt Lake City, UT

He makes some interesting points, although the current medal count does not suggest that the Dutch have a particuarly diverse set of athletic powerhouses.

Springville, UT

This is funny stuff! I have to wonder if the Dutch skater who broke the world's record by a stunning margin in this Olympics was tested for PEDs.

The reality is, everyone can do what they choose to do. Big deal. I still say this controvesy is amusing.

Genola, UT

There are 18.7 times more people living in the US compared to the Netherlands. Therefore, we should have 18.7 times more medals than they do. We do not. His point is valid but probably not going to be taken seriously by Americans, in general. We do well enough in the Olympic sports to maintain our pride while enjoying the luxury of seeing our best athletes compete in football, basketball and baseball.

Salt Lake City, UT

Question for this dutch coach. Remind me again which country is leading the medal count in these Olympics? I get the gist of what this coach is trying to say but his using of American football to make his point is a bit odd. The U.S is a country with over 300 million people living in it with interests in a variety of different sports. This is the first time in a long time, the U.S has come away empty handed in speed skating. The American media would not be making a deal about this if it wasn't an event they take pride in and take seriously. This coach is very aware of the history of American success in the Winter games, he just can't help himself by rubbing salt in the wound.

Ben H
Clearfield, UT

That is part of it. Our strongest and fastest male athletes end up in the NFL. But many or our best do become Olympians.

I also found that half of the world's speed skating tracks are in the Netherlands while here in the US, there are only 4 (Salt Lake, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Lake Placid). I wonder if our hopes will improve if we make a commitment to build speed skating tracks in populated cities like Chicago and Boston.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

American football coach: Dutch have won no Super Bowls because country loves 'a foolish sport like speedskating'.

In all seriousness, I love Olympic sports and I love it when Americans do well in them. But let's look at how the U.S. stacks up in "worldwide" sports:
- We are the best in the world at basketball.
- We've won the women's soccer World Cup multiple times.
- We've been to the semifinals of the men's soccer World Cup.
- We do just fine in golf.
- We're more than competitive in cycling.
- We typically win the medal count at the summer Olympics.
- We typically win the medal count at the winter Olympics.

The only "world" sport we don't really do well at is baseball, but that's OK because baseball isn't even a real sport.

I think our athletic breadth and depth is just fine, thank you. Let's see how the Dutch stack up.


Actually the US has been a speed skating powerhouse in the not so distant past. We've had fabulous skaters in sprit and distance events. The US skaters won most of the world championship titles just a few weeks before the Sochi Olympics.

The dogs may bark but the caravan moves on.


Centerville, UT

His comments are true for the sport of soccer as well. We could add any number of sports that are more popular internationally.

It is true that in the US a large share of our athletes migrate towards American football, baseball, and basketball. It is true that if we didn't have those American sports, the athletes, such as Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and hundreds of other star athletes may have instead been superstars in ice skating, or the soccer pitch, or at table tennis.

But we do enjoy our college football, our NBA, our NFL. I think we are happy with our successes, in general.

I would like to challenge the Dutch to compete against Seattle on the American football field.

Salt Lake City, UT

Obviously, speed skating is important to the Dutch, they put a lot into it and they do well at that sport - that is fine! Congratulations. Congratulations to others who do well at other Olympic events. Excellence in one sport does not guarantee excellence in a different one. I think the point is we need to improve our skating training program; perhaps a few more ice skating rinks in strategic areas can be helpful as well. Here in the USA, we don't have to give up on our favorite sports to improve in others.

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

He must be right because I've watched all sort of football this past season and not a single minute of the Olympics. But then winter Olympic sports are best participated in (except hockey) than watched; ditto with most summer Olympic sports.

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