WATCH: Dutch speedskating coach blasts Team USA
The explanation for the USA's speedskating struggles? An emphasis on American football, according to Dutch speedskating coach Jillert Anema.
Win 22 speedskating medals at the Olympics and you’re allowed to talk a little smack. Or a lot, as in the case of Dutch speedskating coach Jillert Anema.
Anema, in an interview with CNBC, said that the reason the Americans have struggled so mightily throughout the Olympics is because the US doesn’t have an infrastructure for speedskating.
“You have a lot of attention for foolish sport, like American football. You waste a lot of talent, athletic talent, in a sport where it’s meant to kill each other, to injure each other. … And when you compete once every four years, with talent, with a few lone wolves, who are skating, you can't beat the world, it’s no way.”
“You’re [the US] is so narrow-minded, and you waste a lot of good talent in a sport that sucks,” he added.
After taking a shot at American soccer, he then compares the Dutch’s speedskating dominance to the USA’s basketball dominance.
“I think that the gold medal in speedskating is just as valuable as the gold medal in basketball, and we won 22 and you’ll never win 22 in basketball.”
While mathematically correct, with just two days left in the Games, the US has medaled in freestyle skiing, snowboarding, alpine skiing, figure skating, bobsleigh, skeleton, ice hockey and luge. And the American speedskaters took silver in the short track relay on Friday. Not to mention, the Americans currently sit atop the medal standings with 27 overall. The Dutch? 21 of their 22 medals have come in speedskating.
But if you insist, Mr. Anema.
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