The Olympic spirit is all about building understanding, and Katie Couric's recent speed skating slip surprisingly led to just that.
While in PyeongChang, South Korea, for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, Couric shared an incorrect bit of trivia while covering speed skating for NBC. She told viewers that the Netherlands' strength in the sport comes from its citizens skating on the frozen canals during the cold months. In short order, people began correcting her on Twitter, some heartily mocking the idea.
@katiecouric@NBCSports No, the people in The Netherlands don't skate to work or any place else. They drive, ride their bikes, use public transit or walk. Who gathered these facts for you? What's next, for Summer Olympics you say they swim to work in the canals?#NBColympicspic.twitter.com/ETpj8CnVC7— Jos Duijvestein 🇳🇱 (@JosDuijvestein) February 10, 2018
Still, my favourite commentary moment goes to Katie Couric equating the Netherland's success in speed skating to their use of frozen canals as a form of mass transit on the US coverage of the open ceremony.— Daniel Adams (@IamDanielAdams) February 14, 2018
do americans really think that dutch people transport themselves by iceskating on frozen canals or is katie couric the only one 😳 pic.twitter.com/BfRzvuh1ub— sjai (@shawnsramos) February 11, 2018
Katie Couric with NBC's Winter Olympic coverage suggested the Dutch are good at speed skating because its an important mode of transportation when canals freeze over. Wonder if she knows kangaroos don't hop down city streets in Australia. Seriously poor.— Craig Gabriel (@crosscourt1) February 12, 2018
Even the country's embassy in the United States weighed in, albeit in a less cutting manner. The embassy tweeted that it wanted to "break the ice" and invited her to visit the Netherlands to show her "all the innovative ways the Dutch get around" other than on skates.
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! https://t.co/6COFp0jlxh— Netherlands Embassy 🇺🇸 (@NLintheUSA) February 12, 2018
Couric soon realized she was "on thin ice," as she indicated in her equally punny response via Twitter. She apologized and congratulated the Netherlands on their Olympic success.
Congrats #Netherlands on your 🥇count so far! 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! I'd ❤️ to visit again & celebrate your success! 🇳🇱 https://t.co/NvYi7LwB2V— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) February 12, 2018
Fortunately, the embassy was all too happy to "let it slide" and wrote that her apology was accepted.
We're letting it slide @katiecouric 😉 and apologies accepted! Enjoy the rest of the Winter Olympics (with hopefully more Dutch medals). We'd love to help you visit the Netherlands to talk about where we've been and show you where we're going. Just say when, and we'll be there! https://t.co/qD5SIqHS9l— Netherlands Embassy 🇺🇸 (@NLintheUSA) February 13, 2018
That's gold medal problem-solving with puns right there, folks.