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PYEONGCHANG: US journalist Katie Couric said she was “on thin ice” and apologised on Tuesday after she was relentlessly mocked for claiming Dutch success at the Olympics was because skating is an “important mode of transport” in the Netherlands.

During Friday’s opening ceremony, as the Dutch team entered the stadium, Couric pondered to her audience of millions watching NBC television in the United States: “Why are they so good, you may be asking yourselves? Because skating is an important mode of transportation in a city like Amsterdam.”

Amsterdam “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.

But her comments sparked a Twitter backlash with people poking fun at her stereotypical views of the modern-day Netherlands, where temperatures now rarely fall below freezing.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2018