Katie Couric Receives Backlash At The Pyeongchang Winter Games

Matthew Stockman  Getty Images

Matthew Stockman Getty Images

But NBC commentator Katie Couric didn't say that, instead offering a rather extraordinary explanation for the country's skating success during the Opening Ceremony.

Couric's comments have been widely shredded by the skating mad Dutch, who last got to skate on the Amsterdam canals in 2012. Some people posted photos of people ice skating and sarcastically captioned them as Amsterdam citizens commuting home.

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.

Even the Netherlands Embassy in the USA joined in dispelling the statement, eliciting the response from Couric. Every junior skating member of the Dutch federation works on speed skating, as opposed to other forms of ice sports, like figure skating.

Team USA faces stiff competition in this year's Winter Olympics, with Germany and the Netherlands holding the top two places so far.

The veteran anchor said she was trying to salute the country's historic passion for the sport, but it didn't come out that way.

'The Dutch begin wearing skates as toddlers, so for some, skating is as common as walking. "Skating on clogs is too hard, even for us", chided Twitter user Gert van Dijk.

NBC announced in mid-January it would bring back Couric, its former employee, to co-host the opening ceremony alongside Mike Tirico. "Katie Couric talks about why The Netherlands is so good at speed skating as The Netherlands enters the stadium", Dutch photographer Jos Duijvestein, who now lives in Canada, wrote on Twitter.

In December 2017, the IOC announced Russian Federation would be banned from competing in South Korea to penalise the country for its government-run doping scheme, which allowed Russian Federation to cheat at the Sochi Winter Olympics and the Olympic Games in in 2016. Japan occupied Korea for four decades.

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