Are Dutch enthusiastic about the Olympics? At least a handful, I think. Last Wednesday after dinner at the Frits', I watched the swimming with his two grandsons, Matthijs and Leo.
'How can she have so much to tell?' I asked Matthijs in Dutch while by chance his mother Anne-Marie was passing by. She heard my poor Dutch and answered my question in English: 'Holland is a small country, it's not easy to qualify for the Olympics. Now she's out, of course it's nice to give her a chance and enough time to explain.'
Could I conclude that Dutch are too lenient to care about the results? I guess Ranomi would say no. She had secured the Dutch team a silver medal in Women's 4x100m freestyle relay. Her comments afterward, together with her tongue twisted name, were discussed hotly in the Dutch news media. 'We have won nothing, only lost the gold,' she had said. I might have kept believing that, had I not heard of it, such words could be only uttered by the Chinese athletes who are described as the gold-medal freaks. Now I reckon it as a universal occupational disease among the top sporters: the gold medal does mean a lot to them.
Luckily she did bring something home, two gold medals. Also she coined a catchphrase: 'Gold is gold.' What a wonderful truth! If only the 16-year-old Ye could have quoted it to refute the unfair report by Nature.
I admit gold is gold to somebody, but gold is nothing to me since I'm not a professional athlete. Once I get bored of the Olympics, I can just turn off the telly and enjoy a quiet Wageningen in summer.