Again the Dutch skaters did it, taking gold, silver and bronze in the 10,000 meter speed skate for men.
The ongoing Dutch success in long track speed skating at the Winter Olympics is great for the country but bad for the sport as a whole, skating historian Marnix Koolhaas told NOS television. He predicts the Dutch dominance of the medals will make the sport less popular in the rest of the world. And the decision by Norwegian skaters to drop out of the men’s 10,000m event because they won’t win is ‘understandable,’ Koolhaas said. ‘The other countries don’t have a chance and will raise their voices for the event to be ditched even louder,’ he said.
Nevertheless, the foreign media have been busy trying to analyse why the Dutch are doing so well – and not all are on the right track. The International Business Times says that ‘in winter months, skating is a sensible form of transportation, as commuters skate along frozen canals to visit family or friends who live many villages away.’
The comment caused considerable hilarity in the Dutch press, particularly given the absence of ice this winter.