As these Winter Olympics in Sochi have proven, the Dutch are indeed best in two things they have done for centuries. That is speed skating and whining.
So as a typical Dutch girl (wearing wooden shoes and eating cheese while typing) I will be whining the next four hundred words about the whining of my fellow residents.
When Jorien ter Mors won gold in the women’s 1500 meters over a week ago, it was the third Dutch sweep in Olympic speed skating. This dominance began with three men in their orange colored tracksuits on the medal podium with the 5000 meters. The second time was the men 500 meters, and even after these three unexpected sweeps there was even the 10000 meters for the men as well.
But apart from being happy, there were several people complaining about this dominance. It would be a threat for the speed skating as an Olympic sport. This monopoly position is keeping others out of the competition, was suggested. And some even dare to mention these Olympic Games to be boring regarding the speed skating element. It even overshadowed the disapproval of the way the Russian LGBT community is being regarded in that country.
Well, that is the Dutch nation indeed. Whining is part of our cultural identity. But think again: how were the odds for this to happen if you were to put money on it beforehand? You do the math.
One day – when the Winter Olympics were held in Turin, Italy – my mother visited me and she came by train. I was already ill and apparently the day before a Dutch athlete won a gold medal, because at the train station here in town my mother was given a huge golden medal with chocolate inside. She gave it to me as an encouragement while being not well for a long time. I had it hanging in a very visible place in the living room for weeks. Does anyone remember the year of those Olympics and therefore how long I have been ill? You do the math.
Personally, for me the highlight of these Olympics in Sochi was that winning race of Jorien ter Mors, who is a short track skating athlete as well. This was her first attendance at the Olympic Games ever. And she struck gold leaving several women with very high skating skills behind her. To me, this sounds like a fairy tale and an amazing achievement.
Now the sporting show has come to an end, every Dutch, male skater leaves Sochi with at least one medal around his neck. And of the 24 medals won at the latest Olympic Games, 23 were won with speed skating.
The next Winter Olympics will be held in Korea and I wonder how big a chance it will be that the Dutch athletes might achieve as many medals as this time? And the chance of me leaving my illness behind? You do the math…
This makes me sure of one thing: the Olympic Games within four years will be a fine opportunity for the Dutch to complain about. Either for winning that many medals again and whining about boring competitions, which I strongly doubt. Or either because the speed skaters don’t maintain their dominance and the number of medals is way too low.
But let me not whine anymore. I really did enjoy watching these Olympics, and besides: I have tulips that need attendance.
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This post is also available in: Dutch