One Dutch coach had a lot to say Thursday when asked about the U.S. speedskating team’s performance at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Jillert Anema blamed America’s football-centric sports system for the United States’ inability to win a speedskating medal this year, the first time since 1984 Team USA has not placed in the sport. The Netherlands, meanwhile, has won 21 of its 22 medals in speedskating events — the most medals won by a country in a single sport in a single Olympic Games.
Anema was asked if he thought the United States’ controversial Under Armour suits contributed to Team USA’s lackluster showing this year. His response was a mouthful.
“The suit was one of the reasons, but not because it was bad,” Anema said. “It is because they believed it was bad. In skating, you have to believe in yourself like Americans always do. Americans always believe they’re right, always believe that they’re the best. That’s not true.”
Anema added that instead of competing internationally, the best U.S. athletes compete domestically in American football, where talent is “wasted.”
“You kill each other in American football. It’s so rough, and because you like it and you’ve got all the money into that sport, there’s not a lot of money in the other sports,” he said. “Just nobody in the world wants to compete in that sport with you.”
He ended by saying, “You got zero medals. Zero, man.”
The U.S. critic seems to appreciate one American sport, though. He said he enjoys seeing the Utah Jazz play during trips to Salt Lake City.
Photo via Twitter/@nuanne