On 26 January as of 7:30 CET you can follow a whole bunch of Dutch and other skaters live with commentary, interviews and Dutch music (they’re live now) who have successfully cut work and shimmied down to Austria to skate the Alternative Elfstedentocht on the picturesque Weissensee in Austria.
Today’s weather called for black ice in the North of the country, as the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) issued a code red with many accidents happening on the roads, albeit nothing fatal so far.
To quote Dutch football legend Johan Cruijff, “every disadvantage has its advantage”, as many people in places like Leeuwarden, Assen and Groningen were gripped by ice fever and took to skating on the streets (see video) because ice must be skated on when it’s there, a sentiment echoed by former world champion Renate Groenewold who ‘couldn’t resist it’.
Tennis Club IJburg in Amsterdam has 10 clay courts, a tennis school, 1,100 members and now also a clubhouse designed by MVDRV for an undisclosed amount of money.
The clubhouse cleverly doubles as a roofless grandstand that seats 200 people. One wonders if MVDRV was perhaps a little inspired by a classic football stadium in their home town of Rotterdam, Het Kasteel (The Castle), which also has stands dipping around a space with windows.
The building was officially opened in August. The clubhouse has a bar, seating areas, and, to the side, dressing rooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, and storage space.
IJburg is new land, which allows the Dutch a rare opportunity to experiment with lots of fresh architecture in one place..
Why come to the Netherlands when you can go to Denmark? Dutch television show ‘Zondag met Lubach’ made a video called ‘Do not come to Holland’ in English with Dutch subtitles. Spoiler alert: no mention of drugs or prostitution.
Firstly, don’t call the country ‘Holland’, especially when a lot of refugees are settling in outside the provinces of North and South Holland. The locals will think you’re trying to co-opt their karma points.
The ‘Dunglish’ voice-over was done by someone who had fun switching from an American over-the-top movie trailer style voice to a fake posh British accent you hear in safety instruction videos on KLM. It’s also weird to hear someone faking a British accent and then using the word ‘soccer’ instead of ‘football’.
The Dunglish translation of ‘there goes nothing above Groningen’ is cringeworthy: try ‘Nothing tops Groningen’ for a proper translation or ‘There’s nothing above Groningen’ to keep the Dutch humour flowing. The video does make up for it with “Come to Denmark: it’s the Netherlands, but somewhere else”, which is the very polite version of the talk down the pub as far as accepting refugees in the country at the moment.
For any kind of social commentary on how the Dutch government has cocked up the welcoming of refugees, read the Dutch papers. Or don’t.
(Image: screenshot of ‘Do not come to Holland’ video)
Here’s something from the old box, as we say in Dutch: an American reporter of the NBC tries to interview Olympic gold speed skating champion Sven Kramer after his win in the 5000 metre event in Vancouver in 2010. Prefaced by a Dutch journalist saying ‘the interview started in a weird way’, Kramer tells the NBC reporter exactly what he thinks of her first question – watch the video to find out.
Part of me thinks, ‘wow, his answer was rude! And then he continues normally as if he hadn’t been rude’. The other part of me thinks, ‘wow, what an ignorant journalist asking a gold medal winner to identify themselves because if it were an American she would never have done that’.
This video fragment is like those pictures where depending how you look at them, you can see two different things, but never both at once.
If a Dutchman grows up in a hockey country and has hockey father Hannie Sprong encouraging him, he’ll play hockey instead of football (soccer). Born in Amsterdam, this is Daniel Sprong’s story, an 18-year-old with star quality who has been living in Quebec, Canada since he was seven and played his first NHL game with the Pittsburgh Penguins on 8 October 2015 against the Dallas Stars, in a game that saw the Penguins lose 3-0.
The Dutch media is not into hockey otherwise, but since Sprong is still a Dutchman with no dual citizenship (he’s apparently still waiting on his Canadian one), he qualifies for our ‘Zoek de Nederlander’ (‘Find the Dutch person’) tag. Sprong has also said that he does not want to play with the Dutch national hockey team in the hopes of playing for the Canadian one, which means he probably enjoys winning.
The first Dutch Canadian to play NHL hockey was Ed Kea, born in Weesp, who played among others with the Calgary Flames in the early 1970s. His career came to an abrupt end when he hit his head on the ice (no helmets back then), a severe injury that left him physically and mentally disabled. As well, because his injury happened when he was in a minor league at that point in his career, he was not financially covered and his family struggled to make ends meet. Sadly, Kea died accidentally in his family’s swimming pool at age 51.
Dutch professional football player and coach Bob ‘Bobby’ Haarms is being honoured with a tram stop in the district of IJburg in Amsterdam. However, Amsterdam’s public transport company GVB couldn’t be arsed to check the spelling of his name, as an ‘r’ is missing.
The GVB has six more days to modify the sign before the Haarms family officially drives through a banner on a tram to unveil the tram stop. Haarmslaan is spelt properly online so far. Amusingly enough, the tweet is from a police officer and it’s not clear if she noticed the mistake.
For two weeks now Amsterdam Central Station has has a beach with sand left over from the World Cup Beach Volleyball that took place on Dam Square in front of the Palace down the street.
The beach features activities for children, and today it’s about beer pong or as the Dutch put it #kiddybeerpong. The activity has elicited responses that include WTF, kids shouldn’t be encouraged to drink beer and it looks like it’s being promoted by a beer company although it’s not.
The organisers assure us that they will use 0% beer, which is still very questionable and that we should get over the beer part and see it as a game and an excuse to discuss drinking alcohol, the latter sounding like someone who doesn’t have young children.
I wouldn’t want a child chugging any kind of soft drink, juice or fake beer in the sun for a game that is meant to get practice for drinking alcohol in college. If you take away the drinking, I could be OK with it, but I feel this is in bad taste.
Deventer’s football club the Go Ahead Eagles held a contest, and the prize was a dream trip to the club’s next away game in Hungary for two on 9 July. Problem is, the club’s away game against Budapest’s Ferencváros was to be held behind closed doors, with no supporters allowed due to some penalization given to the Hungarian club by the UEFA.
The couple who won the prize, Henk de Haan and his wife, a long-time volunteer, were afraid their dream trip would be cancelled. The aptly named Go Ahead Eagles put their heads together and came up with a solution: they are going to make the couple board members of the club today so they can come along. The couple are to appointed to the board later today.
Developed based on her own experience running in Amsterdam, which when it’s dark makes you feel like the frog in the old video game Frogger, Dutch designer Pauline van Dongen has created a phototrope shirt using LEDs and foil, designed to improve safety for runners. It is made from technical jersey embedded with washable strips of the low-energy lights and sections of reflective ‘prismatic’ foil material that curve around the body.
Most runners including myself tend to use flashing bicycle lights or bits of clothing with reflective material, but none of it illuminates anywhere near as well or looks as cool as Van Dongen’s garment. She wanted to create a design that felt more like a garment a runner would wear regardless of the safety aspects, as runners need to be comfortable, and dangling lights or bracelets are not the way to go.