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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Big Bubba
Herriman, UT

First of all there are a lot more Americans than Dutchmen, so we can spare funneling a few thousand extra athletes into football. Winning at olympic games comes down to financial resources. If you don't pump as much money into speed skating as you do football then your speed skaters won't be as good as your football players. America just doesn't spend as much money on speed skating.

Lehi, UT

The real marvel of the Winter Olympics is Norway. A country less than 1/3 the size of the Netherlands. Yet this country of 5 million people is a Winter Olympics powerhouse that has earned more medals than any other country throughout the history of the Winter Olympics. That is the real story. How do they keep doing it? It really is quite amazing.

Murray, Utah

where are all the dutch medals in track and field?

Salt Lake City, 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 "

The problem with his point is that it's a criticism of the US's investment in winter sports as a whole. The US is still on top of the medal board with medals in a large variety of events while the Netherlands has absolutely nothing other than speedskating (except one medal... in short track speed skating).

I won't pretend there aren't things the US is weak in, like curling, and perhaps most notably in the summer games team handball where the US was dead last in a regional qualifier to even try and get to the Olympics (now that is definitely one we're harmed by when we direct our athletes to something like basketball instead). So there's some validity... but it is not as broadly applicable as the coach suggests, and the Netherlands is certainly no shining example of a complete winter program unlike Canada or Norway.

Black & White

No worries here. He probably dated a beautiful American woman once, and when she beat him at his own sport, he decided to become Anti-American, and this was his chance to get back at her.

Of course, in return she will now show him the Millions her American Football player husband makes in comparison to his pay as a Ice Skating Coach.

Salt Lake City, UT

Despite the fact that the headline does not represent what the coach said, he has a valid point. Unfortunately, Americans in general do not accept any criticism or feedback from foreigners. If is a fact that most of the winter Olympic sports are totally ignored by Americans until the Olympics begin. If we gave even a small portion of the money we sink into football, baseball, and basketball to the winter sports, we would probably bring home gold medals in everything.

Salt Lake, Ut

His country is as guilty as he says ours is, just in a different sport. Meanwhile we lose with dignity while he gloats like a child winning a blue dart contest.

Orem, UT

The original concept of the Olympics was to be an individual sport. That is, it was forbidden for countries to keep a medal count for the country. The ideal was to promote good will by individuals. Hitler ruined that with the 1936 Olympics. From then on it has become just another competition between countries for national pride. It's even more divisive than ever. It is just another political event. Let's face it, it is just a big money maker for a few elitists on the Olympic selection committee. That explains the addition of professional athletes instead of limiting it to amateur athletes.

Salt Lake, Ut

It's kind of dumb to make a blanket assumption that football players make good speed skaters. Does that mean that speed skaters make good football players?

Huntsville, u

I'll stick with football. Actually I wish it was an Olympic sport. I like watching speed skating in the Olympics, but that's about all I can take. once every 4 years is enough for me.
One should not brag about their sport though because things always have a way of turning on the bragger.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

And the Dutch will never win a SuperBowl. So what? Let's get on with life.

Syracuse, UT

Sounds like someone didn't get tickets to the superbowl this year. It's ok, it was fairly one sided.

Sandy, UT


Orange County, CA

I propose $.05 skating, curling, and biathlon taxes that get added to each MLB, NFL, and NBA ticket and then directed to those Olympic sports so we can regain our national pride from the Dutch. Now I know why I was in such a blue funk these last couple of weeks!

Salt Lake City, UT

The country that should really feel ridiculous is Brazil. 198 million to 16 million for the Netherlands. Where are their ice skating medals? Where are their skiing medals?

Syracuse, UT

You know, I was going to sign my kid up for the speed skating league because, you know, they're everywhere. But he said, oh yeah, that sounds incredibly boring! Now maybe if you combined football and ice skating... Oh yeah, it's called hockey!

rock springs, wy

@Brave Sir Robin

We aren't always the best in basketball and some of the best players in America aren't even Americans. We aren't even close to the best in men's soccer and our best cyclers have been "juiced." Your comment about baseball not being a real sport hopefully is "tongue in cheek." A recent poll showed NBA basketball to be preferred by only 3% of polled fans, while baseball was preferred by 14%. Of course, American pro football was the clear winner at 47%. To the point--I couldn't possibly care less what some Dutchman thinks of American football. When Hans Brinker can hit like Babe Ruth or throw a forward pass like Payton Manning or fight like Muhammed Ali, I'll take his criticism of American athletes seriously.


Medal Count

USA 27

Netherlands 22

Lehi, UT

Let him have his 15 minutes of fame!! They earned it. It is what they do. However.... does he remember SLC 2002? If memory serves me well, the Netherlands and USA both received 8 speed skating medals. I don't think we played football back then.

Crestucky, FL

What Mr Anema is really saying is that had is country not spent so much time concentrating on ice skating, the Netherlands would NOT have been relegated to a mere European national pushover in SOCCER!
Indeed, Mr Anema's remarks were his way of saying, via 'talk around' that his own country has become the FOOTBALL punching bag equivalent for true European powerhouses such as Spain, Germany and Great Britain -- national criticism shrouded in a flimsy rant about our NFL, his way of knocking a clear weakness in the Dutch loss of influence in football - in Europe and the World Cup!

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