Veteran US journalist Katie Couric is being mercilessly mocked on Twitter after claiming the Dutch success at Olympics speed-skating was because skating is an “important mode of transport” in their country.
Hot on their heels of their stunning medals triumph in Sochi in 2014, the Dutch men and women speed skaters are already notching up major victories in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
But during Friday’s opening ceremony as the Dutch team entered the stadium, Couric pondered “why are they so good, you may be asking yourselves?”
“Because skating is an important mode of transportation in a city like Amsterdam,” she told audiences tuned into US broadcaster NBC television.
Amsterdam “has lots of canals that can freeze in winter. So for as long as the canals have existed the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place to race each other and to have fun.”
But her comments sparked a Twitter backlash, with people poking fun at her stereotypical views of the modern-day Netherlands, where temperatures now rarely fall below freezing.
The comments were put online by Jos Duijvestein, who tweeted a link to the TV clip, saying “You just can’t make this up.” By Monday he said his post had reached over two million views.
One user Dirk Jan Moedt replied with a photo of a crowd of speed skaters racing around a track by a windmill with the caption “Rush Hour in the Netherlands.”
Another called Miss Little Bean published a picture of a black horse drawing an iron-sled on the ice entitled “This is business class in the Netherlands.”
Twitter user Thomas Hogeling tweeted a photograph of a man skating past houseboats on the canal saying “me skating to work at the cheese factory.”
It’s a bitter-sweet moment though for the Dutch, who despite the Twitter protestations are skating-mad and desperately wait each year for the canals to freeze over.
Hopes have once again melted that this winter will see the staging of the near-mythical Elfstedentocht canal skating race — last held in 1997.
Having been held just 15 times since it first began in 1909, the arduous race spanning 11 canals across 200 kilometres (120 miles) is considered the pinnacle of every Dutch skater’s life and victory ensures near immortality.
Louisiana Democrat re-elected governor — despite Trump’s rallies for the Republican candidate
The Associated Press has called the Lousiana's governor's race for incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.
Edwards triumphed over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who called to concede.
The outcome is another major political loss for President Donald Trump, who had held multiple campaign rallies for Rispone.
During his most recent rally, Trump begged the crowd to give him a "big win" in the election.
Eddie Rispone has conceded the #lagov race to Gov. John Bel Edwards, giving the Democrat four more years in ruby red Louisiana despite Trump’s best efforts to flip the seat. Edwards camp says Rispone called minutes ago to concede. #lagov #lalege
Press secretary says it is ‘dangerous for the country’ to question whether she is putting out honest info
Press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Saturday argued it was "dangerous for the country" for anyone to challenge the veracity of her claims.
Grisham made her argument after President Donald Trump went to Walter Reed Hospital for an unannounced doctor's visit, resulting in a great deal of speculation.
Following the visit, Grisham claimed Trump was "healthy" and "without complaints" -- a claim many found unlikely as the president has spent a good deal of time as president airing his many grievances.
Sondland used WhatsApp to communicate with Ukraine — and won’t turn over the messages: report
Ambassador Gordon Sondland used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to a top Ukranian official, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
The communication occurred with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymr Zelensky, when Sondland was in Kyiv, the newspaper reported.
"Sondland was also texting back and forth on WhatsApp with Yermak throughout the trip, and had been communicating with other Ukrainian officials over the messaging app in the preceding and subsequent months, according to people familiar with his interactions," The Post reported.