Katie Couric Apologizes For Winter Olympic Gaffe About The Netherlands Skating Culture

Couric mistakenly announced during the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony that the Dutch commute on ice skates.

Katie Couric participates in the 'America Inside Out with Katie Kouric' panel during the National Geographic Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour
Willy SanJuan / AP Images

Couric mistakenly announced during the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony that the Dutch commute on ice skates.

During the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, NBC’s Katie Couric shared an odd stream of consciousness about Dutch skaters and where they get their particular prowess. Couric pulled what she said was a bit of Netherlands (Dutch) trivia out of her mind which turned out to be largely myth. Couric told the world that the Dutch use ice skating to commute through cities like Amsterdam.

Katie Couric Shared An Odd Opinion On Why The Dutch Are Great Speed Skaters

“Skating is an important mode of transportation in a city like Amsterdam which sits at sea level. As you all know, it has lots of canals that can freeze in the winters. So, for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other, and also to have fun.”

The Guardian says that Twitter lit up with Dutch people from the Netherlands and around the world asking what Katie Couric was talking about and where she heard these myths.

“All that ice skating must be hard work when you’re stoned. And wearing clogs. While holding a bouquet of tulips. And an Edam. On your way to work at the windmill.”

The canals of Amsterdam have not frozen over since 2012, but even then, skating on the canals was more of a social thing for the Dutch than a way to commute to work and school.

The Dutch U.S. Embassy Chastised Couric Explaining That The Dutch Don’t Skate On Canals To Commute

The U.S. embassy from the Netherlands reached out to NBC and Katie Couric to point out that she got the information wrong while attempting to praise the Dutch and their speed skating abilities. Page Six says that the embassy called Couric’s comments ridiculous. Couric tweeted an apology to the Netherlands.

“My apologies for being on thin ice for my comments re: skating on canals. I was trying to salute your historical passion for the sport but it didn’t come out that way!”

But Couric is still being flooded with comments on Twitter, though most are good natured and downright funny.

“Dear @katiecouric, the Dutch do NOT skate to work. Skating on clogs is too hard, even for us.”

The U.S. embassy suggested that Katie Couric should come to the Netherlands and see for herself how people get around.

“Hi @katiecouric, please come visit the Netherlands. We’d love to show you all the innovative ways the Dutch get around, & are building the future of transportation. Of course, we can also visit our famous skating rinks. Let’s break the ice!”

Katie Couric Will Have To Take Some More Ribbing From The Dutch And The World

The Dutch seem to realize that Katie Couric meant no harm and was trying to give them a compliment, praising their athletes, but reaching beyond reason to explain why the Dutch walk away with so many speed skating medals, reports the Washington Post.

“It is probably not a news flash to tell you the Dutch are really, really good at speedskating. All but five of the 110 medals they’ve won have been on the speedskating oval. Now, ‘Why are they so good?’ you may be asking yourselves.”

Other countries piled on to tell Katie Couric about other places outside the United States with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Australia weighed in first.

“We in Australia all use the Uber Kangaroo service to get from A to B. Skippy managed to get me across town by leaping single buildings in one bound the other day.”

Then Canada took their turn to poke fun at Katie Couric.

“Yes and here in Canada, we take the dog sled from our igloo home to our igloo office.”

Lastly, someone explained to Couric what happens after the thaw for the busy speed skating commute.

“In summer us Dutch swim to work and grocery store via the canals. You’ll hear that next summer Olympics.”