"[The Netherlands] has lots of canals that can freeze in the winter," Couric said on Friday. "So for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other and also to have fun."
Backlash quickly ensued on Twitter, with a variety of people calling out the television personality for making the comment in "poor" taste. Not only do the Dutch not skate to work, but they also pointed out that the canals rarely actually even freeze over.
the funniest moment of the opening ceremony was when katie couric said that the dutch are good at skating because it's "an important mode of transportation in the city of amsterdam... [when the] canals freeze in the winter" i'm still laughing
Katie Couric with NBC's Winter Olympic coverage suggested the Dutch are good at speed skating because its an important mode of transportation when canals freeze over. Wonder if she knows kangaroos don't hop down city streets in Australia. Seriously poor.
Still, my favourite commentary moment goes to Katie Couric equating the Netherland’s success in speed skating to their use of frozen canals as a form of mass transit on the US coverage of the open ceremony.
I lived in the 🇳🇱 for 9 yrs worked on Prinsengracht about 5. Never once did I see the canals in Amsterdam freeze. In fact, I only saw canals in the countryside freeze once in all the years I lived there! And I lived in the country (Uithoorn) Niet alle Amerikanen zijn zo stom!
The most important account to call Couric out for the gaffe, though, was the Netherlands Embassy of the United States, which went so far as to invite her to its country to experience their culture and see that they don't actually get to work by skating.
"Hi @katiecouric, please come visit the Netherlands. We'd love to show you all the innovative ways the Dutch get around," the account tweeted. "[We] are building the future of transportation. Of course, we can also visit our famous skating rinks. Let's break the ice!"
Receiving a message from the country's embassy pushed Couric to apologize for her uninformed remark on Twitter on Monday night.
Congrats #Netherlands on your 🥇count so far! My apologies for being on thin ice for my comments re: skating on canals. I was trying to salute your historical passion for the sport but it didn’t come out that way! I’d ❤️ to visit again & celebrate your success! 🇳🇱 https://t.co/NvYi7LwB2V
"Congrats #Netherlands on your [medal] count so far!" she wrote. "My apologies for being on this ice for my comments re: skating on canals. I was trying to salute your historical passion for the sport but it didn't come out that way! I'd <3 to visit again & celebrate your success!"
See photos of Katie Couric:
Katie Couric through the years
Katie Couric through the years
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Katie Couric (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- Pictured: (l-r) Hosts Katie Couric, Matt Lauer during the 2000 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TODAY SHOW -- Pictured: (l-r) co-host Katie Couric, weatherman Al Roker, co-host Matt Lauer, co-host Ann Curry (Photo by NBC NewsWire/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Katie Couric (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 11: American television journalist Katie Couric meets a Kangaroo joey during filming of the NBC Today Show overlooking Sydney Harbour on September 11, 2000 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 14: American television journalist Katie Couric hosting the NBC Today Show from Bondi Beach on September 14, 2000 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)
381620 03: 'Today Show' co-host Katie Couric appears at FAO Schwarz November 9, 2000 to sign copies of her new children's book 'The Brand New Kid' in New York City. (Photo by George DeSota/Newsmakers)
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- Pictured: (l-r) Hosts Katie Couric, Matt Lauer during the 2001 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade -- Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBCU Photo Bank
Katie Couric during '42nd And Vine: Hollywood Hits Broadway' To Benefit The Entertainment Industry at Waldorf Astoria in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Katie Couric during Opening Night of Baz Luhrmann's Production of Puccini's La Boheme - Arrivals at Broadway Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)
Katie Couric (Photo by Djamilla Rosa Cochran/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 9: Television personality Katie Couric attends the Cynthia Steffe show during Olympus Fashion Week Spring 2005 at Bryant Park September 9, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images)
Katie Couric during Bryan Adams and Def Leppard Perform on the 2005 'Today' Show Summer Concert Series at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic)
Katie Couric (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Katie Couric and Hilary Duff during Hilary Duff Performs on the 2005 'Today' Show Summer Concert Series - June 17, 2005 at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic)
Carmen Marc Valvo and Katie Couric during Katie Couric, EIF and NCCRA Present 'Hollywood Meets Motown' Benefit - Arrivals at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
MARCH 15: Katie Couric attends Entertainment Industry Foundation's NCCRA colon cancer benefit at Waldorf Astoria NYC USA on March 15, 2006. (Photo by Chance Yeh /Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MAY 8: Katie Couric and Senator John McCain attend TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People 2006 at Jazz at Lincoln Center at Time Warner Center on May 8, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 19: Today Show host Katie Couric appears on the NBC 'Today' show Toyota Concert Series in Rockefeller Plaza May 19, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Katie Couric during The McCarton Foundation Benefit For Autistic Children - May 22, 2006 at Pier 60 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Jason Kempin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - MAY 26: NBC Today Show host Katie Couric looks on during NBC's Today Show on May 26, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 30: NBC's 'Today' co-anchors Katie Couric and Matt Lauer talk during Couric's last appearance on the show, Wednesday, May 31, 2006 in New York. (Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Katie Couric and Sheila C. Johnson during Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric listens as North Carolina State Attorney General Roy Cooper announces in a press conference at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wednesday April 11, 2007, that after carefully reviewing the evidence, he is dropping all charges against three former Duke lacrosse players. (Photo by Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
Katie Couric during 68th Annual Overseas Press Club of America Awards Dinner Hosted By Katie Couric at Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Shane Gritzinger/FilmMagic)
Katie Couric and Larry King 13420_061.JPG (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/WireImage for Turner)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 1: Katie Couric attends Launch Party for JOAN RIVERS' New TV Series HOW'D YOU GET SO RICHGuest on TVLand at Joan Rivers' Penthouse on August 1, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by JONATHON ZIEGLER/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
CBS Evening News anchor and Managing Editor Katie Couric speaks during a memorial service for CBS newsman Walter Cronkite at the Lincoln Center in New York on September 9, 2009. Walter Cronkite died on July 17, 2009 at age 92. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 21: ***EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE*** Katie Couric, Barbara Walters and David Westin attend the 30th annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on September 21, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown/WireImage)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 01: CBS Evening News Anchor and Managing Editor, Katie Couric receives honor at the 7th annual Giants of Broadcasting Awards Ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on October 1, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
News anchor Katie Couric attends the 10th Annual New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend photocall at the Times Center on January 6, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: CBS News Anchor Katie Couric attends the Carmen Marc Valvo Fall 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on February 13, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by John W. Ferguson/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 01: Katie Couric, CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor attends the 'Make That Call' For Colon Cancer Screening campaign launch at the Monahan GI Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell on March 1, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 26: TV Personality Katie Couric speaks onstage at the 'Katie' Panel during day 6 of the Disney ABCTelevision Group portion of the 2012 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 26, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 04: Katie Couric attends BlogHer '12 at the Hilton New York on August 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NANTUCKET, MA - AUGUST 11: Katie Couric attends the 2012 Boston Pops reception and fundraiser for Nantucket Cottage Hospital on Nantucket Island sponsored by Coastal Living on August 11, 2012 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images for Coastal Living Magazine)
KATIE - 9/13/12 - Brene Brown, vulnerability researcher at the University of Houston is a guest on KATIE, airing THURSDAY, SEPT. 13, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/Disney-ABC Domestic TV via Getty Images) KATIE COURIC, BRENE BROWN
KATIE - 2/18/13 - The Oscar is celebrated on KATIE, airing MONDAY, FEB. 18, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Lou Rocco/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) KATIE COURIC
KATIE - 3/4/13 - Almost three months after the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Katie Couric returns to Newtown, CT, to remember those who were lost, and to host a conversation about their hope that this tragedy can inspire change, on a special episode of KATIE - 'Voices from Newtown' - airing MONDAY, MARCH 4th, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) KATIE COURIC
KATIE - 4/8/13 - A KATIE Exclusive: Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper & Betty White Back Together - Katie Couric visits the set of 'Hot in Cleveland' for an exclusive reunion with the cast members of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show,' which made TV history. KATIE airs on MONDAY, APRIL 8, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Rick Rowell/ABC via Getty Images) KATIE COURIC
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 886 -- Pictured: (l-r) Katie Couric with host Jimmy Fallon during an interview on September 06, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: 2013 US Open Champion Serena Williams of the United States poses for a photo with Television personality Katie Couric backstage during the Kelly and Michael show on her New York City Trophy Tour on September 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 05: Journalist Katie Couric attends the 4th Biennial Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), A Program of The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), at Dolby Theatre on September 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: Katie Couric attends 'Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies' New York Screening at Jazz at Lincoln Center on March 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 26: TV Personality Katie Couric, wearing Etro, is seen around town at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/GC Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 26: Katie Couric is sighted during the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Mat Hayward/GC Images)
Journalist Katie Couric poses during an interview session at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, January 26, 2016. / AFP / Valerie MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Katie Couric arrives at Sean Parker And The Parker Foundation Launch The Parker Institute For Cancer Immunotherapy Gala on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Journalist Katie Couric attends Tribeca Talks After The Movie: I Voted? at SVA Theatre 2 on April 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 03: Katie Couric attends Tony Bennett 90th Birthday Party on August 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 7: Katie Couric and husband John Molner attend day 10 of the 2016 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2016 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/GC Images)
Katie Couric attends the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) event on September 9, 2016, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. / AFP / Valerie MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: Executive Producer Katie Couric attends 'Gender Revolution: A Journey With Katie Couric' New York Premiere at TheTimesCenter on February 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Katie Couric attends the 'Genius' Premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 05: Katie Couric attends the National Night Of Laughter And Song event hosted by David Lynch Foundation at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on June 5, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for David Lynch Foundation)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 13: Katie Couric attends The 2017 Mirror Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 11: Katie Couric poses at the The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: Journalist Katie Couric attends the Clive Davis and Recording Academy Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Jay-Z on January 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)