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

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  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 25, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    Try and tell Ono, Parra, and Heiden that. A whole bunch of gold metals between them.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:33 a.m.

    How lame..

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 3:25 a.m.

    The U.S. may not have won many speed skating medals in this Olympics but those tough football playing American boys sure beat the socks off the Germans who were holding the Dutch people prisoners during World War II. Then the football playing American taxpayers rebuilt the Netherlands after the war so the Dutch could pursue speed skating.

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    Feb. 22, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    It's time for America to do something besides sit on the couch watching football.

    It was fun while it lasted but GeeZ! Look at the cost of healthcare to take care of all the unhealthy super fans out there.

    We can't blame Obama for everything. Just Benghazi and his other lies.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    If there are 22 medals for speed skating, surely they could make football an Olympic Event (summer or winter, I don't care).

    I would love to see US vs Netherlands in American(real) Football.

  • Daniel Ben Herndon, VA
    Feb. 22, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    I'm extremely patriotic and I love football, but I have to say, this Dutch coach gave me a good laugh. Maybe we should ask the Dutch speed-skating team to make our suits for the 2018 winter Olympics.

  • Brucemax Provo, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    Current medal count: USA 27, Netherlands 24. He has a good point in that we would beat them even worse if we dedicated all that football talent into winter sports.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    Feb. 22, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    They are good at skating and legalized prostitution. Talk about how deadly prostitution is.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    I'm not out of breath about his comments. After all, he shows himself--probably unintentionally--to be a bit of a hypocrite. He enjoyed watching the Super Bowl and admits to being a Jazz fan. What a laugh!

  • Cougar in Texas Houston, TX
    Feb. 22, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    The Dutch have a long tradition with speed skating, made familiar to Americans by the story of of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates in the 1860s. It is one sport where they have been traditionally strong, but I fail to think of another sport, summer or winter, where they excel.

  • ipr Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    Okay guys, he's a coach who is proud of what his team has achieved. I watched the interview and laughed. He has typically Dutch humor. In Holland Americans are known to be proud of their country, and how everything is bigger and better in the U.S. Well, the Dutch beat them in ice skating. That is something to be proud of. Football, according to the Dutch is boring. I, as a former Dutchie, still think it's boring after living here for more than 35 years. Fifteen minutes can stretch into a couple of hours. I watch the super bowl for the advertisements! But the Americans like them. Soccer has a lot of action, and all the good soccer players are bought up by other clubs in Europe. So let this tiny country (and it is much much smaller than Norway) enjoy its day of glory. Some day the U.S. will win again.....

  • Nijmegen Nijmegen, 00
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    Oh my goodness, how dumb can you be!
    No]t only did he offend a large part of the US people by saying that American Football is a foolish sport, bur also he made the Dutch people look narrow minded.
    I can't believe that he called the Americans narrow minded, because they like American Football.
    I am ashamed of what the Dutch speed skate coach said.
    I apologise for people like him.

  • common sense in Idaho Pocatello, id
    Feb. 22, 2014 5:38 a.m.

    I'm caught in the middle. Married to a Dutch woman and also a huge football fan. I guess I was insulted by the coaches comment that American football sucks. Then my wife read the same article and said the coach was right on. What could I say? What could I do? Well, I kept my mouth shut and just kept my orange blanket around me with my orange hat on and kept cheering for the Dutch speed skating team.

    Next fall when football season starts I'll get my revenge.

  • LadyMoon Crestucky, FL
    Feb. 22, 2014 4:16 a.m.

    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!

  • AfterAll Lehi, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:51 p.m.

    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.

  • Coolio SLC, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:06 p.m.

    Medal Count

    USA 27

    Netherlands 22

  • gchris rock springs, wy
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:18 p.m.

    @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.

  • Rainman Syracuse, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    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!

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:04 p.m.

    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?

  • 79Ute Orange County, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 7:58 p.m.

    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!

  • Reader Sandy, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 7:11 p.m.


  • Spellman789 Syracuse, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 7:01 p.m.

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

  • WhyAmIhere? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 6:28 p.m.

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

  • arand Huntsville, u
    Feb. 21, 2014 5:08 p.m.

    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.

  • FredEx Salt Lake, Ut
    Feb. 21, 2014 5:01 p.m.

    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?

  • 5 Orem, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    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.

  • FredEx Salt Lake, Ut
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:51 p.m.

    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.

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    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.

  • Black & White SLC, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    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.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    "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.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    where are all the dutch medals in track and field?

  • lehiaggie Lehi, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:28 p.m.

    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.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    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.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    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.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    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.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    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.

  • G-Day-M8 WVC, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    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.

    Go USA

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 2:40 p.m.

    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.

  • Ben H Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    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.

  • jaredw007 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 2:15 p.m.

    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.

  • Eliot Genola, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    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.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:48 p.m.

    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.

  • MormonDemocrat Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:45 p.m.

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

  • ipr Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:41 p.m.

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

  • TiCon2 Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    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.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    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.

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:56 p.m.

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

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    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.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    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.

  • utah dane Herriman / USA, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    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.

  • 2020 Herriman, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    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.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:47 a.m.

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


  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    "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...