During the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the TV anchor made a comment as the Dutch team entered the stadium, saying to her audience of millions watching the games:
"Why are they so good, you may be asking yourselves? Because skating is an important mode of transportation in a city like Amsterdam. It has lots of canals that can freeze in winter. So for as long as the canals have existed the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place to race each other and to have fun", the veteran broadcaster added innocently.”
On February 13, after massive backlash and mockery, Couric apologized for her comment, saying that she was “on thin ice,” and expressed eagerness to visit the Netherlands after the Dutch embassy invited her to see “all the innovative ways the Dutch get around.”
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) 12 февраля 2018 г.
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) 12 февраля 2018 г.
People have been poking fun at Couric’s stereotypical views of the Netherlands…
I had to stay at home today in my windmill wearing my wooden shoes and eat cheese and pet my cow because the canals wernt frozen so couldnt get to work— marcelleke (@marcelcuijk) 13 февраля 2018 г.
Big deal over nothing, don't worry miss Couric! Did you know we did fight the Spanish on ice skates a few hundred years ago?— Esmee Marsé (@EsmeeMarse) 13 февраля 2018 г.
Loved it! Come to Amsterdam, we’ll smoke pot together, chew some muchies and we may actually ‘see’ people iceskating on the canals ;-) 😱 Disclaimer: I’m joking.— Sevinc Keskin (@KeskinS) 13 февраля 2018 г.
Exactly! This is also why the British team does so well at cycling in the Olympics; it's a little known fact that we all travel everywhere by Penny Farthing. pic.twitter.com/pvEFhg6iC1— 👑Princess Anna 🇪🇺❄️ (@mrsspanner) 11 февраля 2018 г.
I wanted to go to work…. damn you global warming! pic.twitter.com/bJwDHDiANr— Hil (@LhbtInfo) 13 февраля 2018 г.
…some were offended by what she had said, denouncing NBC as "fake news":
And in the summer everyone trades in their Clog ice skates for these. I’m sorry Katie is an idiot. I’m embarrassed she’s representing America. Hele goed grap! pic.twitter.com/Cc12J2Ipnh— Charlli (@Charlif761) 13 февраля 2018 г.
That's the problem with #FakeNewsNBC, I actually believed your dumba** and said to myself, "makes sense, Netherlanders are good at skating because they commute to work every day on skates."— 45for8 (@45for8) 13 февраля 2018 г.
Couric had me believing that this was what the rush-hour looks like in the Netherlands: pic.twitter.com/Zs9D0LRtAQ
While others said they liked her comment:
Katie thanks for the apologies and we laughed our asses off over here in Holland about your comment! Btw love the podcast, great talk with @Lavernecox this week.— Simone Weimans (@SimoneWeimans) 12 февраля 2018 г.
Apology accepted! We had a lot of fun after your comment on our awesome tradition of ice skating — mocking our selve and other is one of these things we love to do. So, thank you for making our monday news a lot more fun then usual 😋— 👨🏼💻 Nigel (@singlesignon) 13 февраля 2018 г.
No problem, you made our day!🤣— Saskia van Berge (@saskia_berge) 13 февраля 2018 г.
There were also those who did not understand the buzz around Couric’s statement:
They've skated on their canals for centuries. I don't understand the controversy. pic.twitter.com/5B6nhP28GV— Pattinson360 (@RPat360) 13 февраля 2018 г.
Either way, many Dutch users accepted her apology:
Thank you and apologies accepted! You put a smile on our face, there is nothing wrong with that. Have a nice day! ☺️— Mans (@mansinamsterdam) 13 февраля 2018 г.
no worries Katie, we had so much fun in the Nederlands and got very creative. if we can skate on the canals we call u first😉 lovely tweet Btw😀— Helga (@DmDutchhm0709) 13 февраля 2018 г.