Olympic Wipeout: Gold Medalist Asks Reporter If She Is “Stupid” After Being Asked Who He Is and What He Just Won

Occasionally, the Olympic performances will result not in preservation of a moment of perfection but a wipeout. On this occasion, it was not a downhill skier but an NBC reporter who asked Gold Medalist Sven Kramer who he was, what country he was from, and what he just won. He responded with “Are you stupid?”

Kramer had won the gold medal in the men’s 5000m race. It turns out that he is Dutch, which must mean he is from Dutchland or some such country. The foreign press is having a field day on this one, but is it our fault that he did not become an American citizen? Besides, the reporter was mistaken to even inquire as to Kramer’s importance. She should have gone directly to how Kramer felt about the performances of Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick finishing 11th and 12th, respectively. So, no Mr. Kramer we are not stupid. You are simply unabashedly, irretrievably not American.

For the story, click here.

21 thoughts on “Olympic Wipeout: Gold Medalist Asks Reporter If She Is “Stupid” After Being Asked Who He Is and What He Just Won”

  1. What a RUDE young man. The reporter was asking for the young man to ID himself, much like people do in meetings to introduce themselves before they ask a question or make a statement.

    She did not ask him who he was, she asks him to STATE who he is for the record.

    I detest NBC and everything about it, so it is pretty bad that this young man behaved worse than the network journalist.

  2. The reporter should have known who she was interviewing and said something like,
    “I’m here with Sven Kramer, just off his amazing Gold medal performance in long track speed skating. Sven, can you tell us about your feelings about your performance in this event today?”

  3. I thought it was unfortunate but after years of listeining to reportors asking families whos homes have burnt down or mothers and fathers whos sons or daughters were killed for whatever reason or whatever the human misery the famous question “How does that make you feel” at which time I yell at the television “You idiot how do you think it makes them feel” sorry, I enjoyed the moment

  4. I suspect Sven Kramer worked a lot harder to earn his medal than the reporter worked to earn her job. “Are you stupid?” was more than appropriate … it was right on target.

  5. I watch very little of the Olympics because of the jingoism in the commentary but I did watch the mens figure skating. Not only did the commentators do jingoism, they did the other American journalistic tradition, down the memory hole. It was only 4 years ago that they were all screaming that the Canadian pairs team was robbed when the Russians got the gold medal. But when the Russians felt their skater should have won gold, he was trying to restart the Cold War!!

  6. The reporter was probably trying to get information on tape, so that everyone watching it later would know who he was.

    Sure SHE knows, she was just there, but not everyone in the world who will be watching this video will know who this is.

    WTF is he STUPID!?!?

  7. Mike said: “Let’s acknowledge the simple truth that most people who report the news for TV are stupid and certainly ignorant of context.”

    And let’s add lazy. The reporter couldn’t be troubled to find out the athlete’s name and the event he had just competed in before her interview???

    I’ve heard politicians and pundits making all kinds of inaccurate statements and even telling lies on TV news shows–and many of the moderators and hosts of the programs rarely question the veracity of what they are saying. Why is that? Probably because the moderators and hosts haven’t done their homework.

  8. One more thing.

    Asking his name may have been acceptable if he had one of those names that didn’t have any vowels in it, but Sven Kramer? Come on? There’s a tongue twister. 🙂

  9. I think the reporter should have boned-up on the participants before attempting an interview. She came across as stupid because she was stupid, at least when it comes to men’s speedskating.

    I bet she finds out a little more before attempting her next interview.

  10. ECookie,

    I know who Bonnie Parker was. As far as figure skater, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. I probably could not even know who they were if Tonya batting partner had been better.

  11. It was a bizarre thing for the NBC reporter to ask him (although asking her if she was stupid was not the most gracious reponse).

    But the Dutchland 🙂 interviewer was only marginally better if all she could think to ask him was whether he had noticed that Canadians and Americans are not that into speed skating. I guess the premise of the question may be true in that speed skaters are generally not famous in the way athletes in some other sports are, while speed skaters in the Netherlands may be famous, since that is the only sport they win medals in. But Apollo Anton Ono is pretty well known, a number of present and former women speed skaters are among the best known female athletes in Canada, the same is probably true in the US (eg., Bonnie Blair) and both Americans and Canadians have been winning medals in many of the speed skating events in these and previous Olympics. In this Olympics so far, the US has won 4 medals in speed skating, Canada has won three and the Netherlands have won three. In Turin, Canada won 12 medals in speed skating, the US won 10 and the Netherlands won 9.

    So it too is a bizarre question, unless it was meant to suggest that this particular guy should have been a household name in North America. But are Shani Davis or Christine Nesbitt household names in the Netherlands? If not, then I guess they aren’t really that into speed skating either, according to this interviewer’s logic.

  12. Jim,

    Somebody has to do it, so I guess I will. How would you have done this differently?

    Report: Hi, I am (Unidentified reporter) from such and such network:

    Jim your cue: (what would you say?)

  13. Did anybody watch Shawn White win the gold in the half pipe?

    Watching an athlete have that much fun was a delight.

  14. I cannot believe it, there are people supporting the reporter in these comments.
    Professor Turley, you are so right.

  15. Do they give Olympic gold for ego jumping? How about downhill rudeness? If this yahoo in a sport admired by what — fifty thousand or so people — wants to get known as being a jackass, I say ascend the podium now, there playing your anthem:

  16. His only fault was in asking the question; the reporter droid is obvious exceptionally stupid.

  17. Let’s acknowledge the simple truth that most people who report the news for TV are stupid and certainly ignorant of context. I like the guys question and feel it is valid. This is not about ego, except if one looks at the ego of someone doing work without the requisite homework backing it up.

  18. The Dutch usually speak better English than we do. that probably confused the NBC newsbot. @Anonymously Yours–if you win a Gold at the Olympics, you have every right to assume that some idiot who is supposedly covering the games should know what you’ve just done. The coverage has just gone downhill since the days that ABC had it in the 70s.

  19. Do you not realize the importance of who I am at this very moment. Its kinds like that football player in West Texas. He will be remembered most in his own mind. duh could say it better.

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