Olympics Report: There Is Nothing Like a Dane
Snide Remarks #261
"Olympics Report: There Is Nothing Like a Dane"
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Daily Herald on February 20, 2002
One of the perks of covering the Olympics is that I'm granted access to luminaries such as gold medalist Casey FitzRandolph, who was signing autographs at a store at The Gateway on Monday (I didn't go), and to a bunch of Danish non-athletes at a breakfast.
The breakfast occurred Monday morning, the same day as the Casey FitzRandolph appearance I didn't go to. A friend of mine named Jjudy (names have been changed) lives in a neighborhood of Salt Lake City where the Danish delegation is being housed, and Jjudy's house serves as Daily Breakfast Headquarters. She invited me along to enjoy some free food and to be chummy with the Danes.
A bit of history of Denmark may be in order. Located in Norway, Denmark is a country with a monarchy, currently headed by a queen named Queen. The unit of currency is the Dane; a 100-Dane bill is often called a "Great Dane," and that is where the dog name comes from. Famous Danes include Hamlet, Scooby-Doo, Dane Judi Dench and the Broadway musical "Dane Yankees." The population of the country is such that if you were to count every person in Denmark, you would know the population.
What I learned about the Danes is that 1) their Winter Olympic teams always stink, and 2) they don't care. For example, as of Monday morning, the Danish teams had done so poorly, their only chance for a medal would be if they bribed the French judge AND made everyone else in the race fall down.
As a result, the 20 or so diplomats, officials and consuls general who tagged along are spending their time skiing and buying peanut butter. (Apparently, peanut butter is rare in Europe, probably because of the Nazis.) They were chatty and friendly over breakfast, and they spoke better English than the Utah native I ran into at SmithTix, who pronounced "February twelfth" as "Feb-uh-ary twalth."
The Danes were met with a dilemma this particular morning, as they were going to a hockey game between Germany and Sweden. They were unsure whom to root for, because if there's anyone the Danes hate more than the Swedes, it's the Germans. ("What about the French?" I asked. "Oh, yeah, of course we hate them," was the casual answer, as if I were silly to even ask the question.) The reason for their dislike of Swedes is that the Swedes tend to act superior, and of course the Germans had that World War II thing. (The Swedes wound up winning the hockey game, so take THAT, Adolf!)
To my disappointment, the breakfast included many nice bagels and English muffins, but no Danishes. The Danes told me they really don't eat that many of them back home, which means some of my information on Denmark might be a little off. I'll contact Queen and ask her.
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
This work may not be transmitted via the Internet, nor reproduced in any other way, without written consent from Eric D. Snider.