Katie Couric was given the job of adding colour to the Winter Olympics opening ceremony for NBC, and you can't accuse her of not doing her research. That said, you could accuse her of not doing enough. Or at least of not checking anything beyond facts strictly related to the Games themselves.
As the Netherlands entered the arena, Couric assiduously ran through her pre-prepared notes on the Dutch record at the Games. She struck on one theme - their record at speed skating which has yielded all but five of their medals at the Winter Games.
Unfortunately, she didn't stop there, and managed to talk her way into some utterly magnificent bluffing. As she tried to explain their fine record at the event, she ended up blathering that speed skating is an important mode of transport in Amsterdam. Yeah, us neither.
Why are they so good at speed skating you may ask yourself? Speed skating is an important mode of transportation in Amsterdam, which sits at sea level. As you all know, it has lots of canal which can freeze over winter. So for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place-to-place.
Watch it below.
You just can't make this up.
NBC opening ceremony coverage. Katie Couric talks about why The Netherlands is so good at speed skating as The Netherlands enters the stadium.
And this folks is why Americans are less bright about the rest of the world as they spread fake news! pic.twitter.com/7YC5deTl2w
— Jos Duijvestein ?? (@JosDuijvestein) February 10, 2018
This notion that speed skating remains an important form of transport in Amsterdam is a bit mad, with of central Europe being sheeted with ice for months is the kind of fanciful interpretation of global temperatures that belongs to Couric's president. What was mentioned above by Couric may, however, be somewhat relevant to how the sport first caught on in the country. She likely gleaned her information from this mentalfloss piece.
Sadly for Couric, she was widely derided for her bluffing.
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.
— Sash Dordevic (@bks8472) February 11, 2018
In summer us Dutch swim to work and grocery store via the canals. You'll hear that next summer Olympics.
— Jos Duijvestein 🇳🇱 (@JosDuijvestein) February 10, 2018
My brother , last week. pic.twitter.com/WdHYen5LFr
— Max (@MaxSchoo) February 11, 2018
Indeed! This is the typical morning commute for the windmill workers in Amsterdam pic.twitter.com/Y15HX3gzGx
— Steven Ottens (@stvno) February 11, 2018
This is business class in the Netherlands! pic.twitter.com/GW81YYoAeP
— Miss Little Bean (@EllenBoontje1) February 11, 2018
Germans luge the Autobahn to work
— David Epstein (@DavidEpstein) February 11, 2018
Rush Hour in the Netherlands. pic.twitter.com/RRpDBV9pDX
— DirkJanMoedt (@moedtdj) February 11, 2018