FanDuel - WFBC

February 23, 2014

Dutch Speedskating Coach No Fan of American Football: Dutch speedskating coach Jillert Anema, fresh off his country winning 21 of its 22 medals in that sport at the Sochi Games, has a unique theory for why the U.S. wasn't as successful in that competition: "You have a lot of attention for foolish sport, like American football. You waste a lot of talent, athletic talent, in a sport where it's meant to kill each other, to injure each other. And when you compete once every four years, with talent, with a few lone wolves, who are skating, you can't beat the world, it's no way. [The US.]. is so narrow-minded, and you waste a lot of good talent in a sport that sucks."

posted by rcade to olympics at 04:33 PM - 3 comments

Here's the whole interview with CNBC, where you can see that he's yanking the interviewers' chains, given that the first question was about those bloody suits.

I'm going to focus on his point about 'a few lone wolves': as a rich country with a population of 300+ million, the US has enough sporting capability to compete at a high level with countries that focus on a much narrower range of sports, but there's a tacit assumption that raw talent plus a little bit of funding plus NBC's broadcast focus equals medals. Sometimes that happens and you'll see Americans representing an indifferent nation break the hearts of people who live and breathe and throw tons of investment into a sport. But not always.

Now, the counterargument would be that the foundation of American Olympic success is usually at the college level, where the 'foolish sports' subsidise everything else to some degree.

posted by etagloh at 05:38 PM on February 23

Yeah, anyone who says we're diverting potential great speed skaters into football is clearly yanking someone's chain.

posted by Etrigan at 06:47 PM on February 23

anyone who says we're diverting potential great speed skaters into football is clearly yanking someone's chain.

Anyone who knows anything about American culture knows that we are diverting all of our potential speed skating talent into our nascent curling program, because nothing helps to sweep the ice like a powerful set of thighs.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:46 AM on February 24

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