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Denmark

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MatC
54291.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:16 am Reply with quote

I was surprised to hear that a single curling team is Denmark’s only representation at the Winter Olympics. In my boundless geographical ignorance, I had assumed that Denmark would - like Norway, Holland, Sweden - be a hot-bed of ice and snow sports. Does anyone know why this is not so?

 
eggshaped
54296.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:24 am Reply with quote

I don't suppose it has many mountains.

I also read that the Danes are the only other country to celebrate American Independence Day (other than the US, that is) anyone know if this is the case? I imagine if so, it must be due to the large number of Danes in America?

 
Tas
54305.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:37 am Reply with quote

Maybe because the first European to set foot over there was a Viking, allegedly?

:-)

Denmark is not so big on winter sports. Having spoken to a Dane, she says they are too busy playing football or getting drunk in the winter months!

:-)

Tas

 
samivel
54323.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:51 am Reply with quote

Well, I think that's a damn good excuse :)

 
dr.bob
54328.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:56 am Reply with quote

Azerbaijan also has only one "team", a pair of figure skaters, representing them. I wonder what they get up to in the winter instead of snowy pursuits.

I mean, if Israel (that well known snow-bound country) can do better.....

 
Tas
54394.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:41 am Reply with quote

Dr Bob....see my excuse for the Danish....except the Azerbijan team is not so good at Football!

:-)

Tas

 
suze
54408.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:09 am Reply with quote

But the Dutch too are keen on football and drinking, yet amongst the very best at speed skating. So why doesn't Denmark - which is topographically and climatically not unlike the Netherlands - have a reputation in speed skating at least? I kind of get why their downhill skiers aren't world renowned, any more than the Dutch ones.

I've always been surprised that Iceland doesn't have more of a winter sports reputation than it does either; they've got the mountains and the ice and snow. I think it must just be that handball, chess and drinking are more popular winter pursuits there.

Oh, and who was that guy who won a Winter Olympic gold last time despite being rubbish? IIRC, he was a speed skater who won gold because all the others in the final crashed into each other, while he was so far behind that he managed to avoid the collision and therefore finish the course.

 
Tas
54417.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:23 am Reply with quote

Suze:

But that is the ONLY winter sport the dutch are famed for.

I guess they have more rivers and lakes that used to freeze?

Oh, there have been notable Danes that played cricket (Ole Mortensen, for example), and I think Magnus Lund of Sale (and hotly tipped to become a world great) in Rugby I think has Danish roots...not too sure on that one, though.

So, any other Danes famed for things that one might not normally associate with their homeland?

:-)

Tas

 
suze
54493.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:11 pm Reply with quote

Well I'm glad that Andy has appeared home, since I don't know a great deal about cricket.

But he tells me that for Denmark's Ole Mortensen and Søren Henriksen, the Netherlands had Paul-Jan Bakker, Roland le Fevre, Andre van Troost and Bastiaan Zuiderent.

Other famous Danes that spring to mind:

Morten Andersen (American Football; I think he is the one and only member of the Danish American Football Hall of Fame), Søren Kierkegård (thinking) and Tycho Brahe (metal nose and a pet elk that died after it fell down the stairs drunk). And various mannequins with long blonde hair and large breasts.

Oh, and the rubbish speed skater was apparently an Australian called Steve Bradbury. Australia is not exactly a land of iced up rivers, so those Danes must do better!

 
Tas
54497.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:15 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
And various mannequins with long blonde hair and large breasts.


I thought most of those were Swedish!

:-)

Tas

 
suze
54511.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:49 pm Reply with quote

Now you come to mention it ...

Helena Christensen is Danish but has dark hair, Brigitte Nielsen is Danish but has short hair, and Lars Ulrich of Metallica is Danish but doesn't have the boobs (or much hair at all, these days).

Yes, you got me there!

 
eggshaped
54522.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:15 pm Reply with quote

Of course you are all forgetting one of (if not THE) most successful danish athlete ever.

Of course I'm talking about this man:

 
eggshaped
54524.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:18 pm Reply with quote

Wilson Kipketer was born of the Kalenjin tribe of Kenya, but as a teenager travelled to Denmark as an exchange student; he enjoyed Denmark so much he applied for Danish citizenship and as a Dane has broken the 800 and 1500m world records.

http://www.iaaf.org/athletes/athlete%3D4681/

 
monkbarns
54525.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:20 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

I've always been surprised that Iceland doesn't have more of a winter sports reputation than it does either; they've got the mountains and the ice and snow. I think it must just be that handball, chess and drinking are more popular winter pursuits there.


No, it's simpler than that. There are only 275,000 of them; that's less than half the population of Dorset. How many people from Dorset are in the Winter Olympics?

 
suze
54529.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:37 pm Reply with quote

So the greatest Dane is Wilson Kipketer, the greatest Pole is Emmanuel Olisadebe and the greatest Englishman is, erm, Kevin Pietersen ??

True enough that there aren't all that many Icelanders, but there are many fewer Liechtensteiners and they've won golds. And Marc Girardelli was a leading skier, despite coming from a small flat country. My favourite skier was the one and only Hubertus von Hohenlohe, a mad German nobleman who skied for Mexico when he wasn't making awful disco records. His skiing wasn't actually much better than his singing, but he was a character. Takes me back to a party I once attended in Banff, Alberta, but we won't go there...

You'd think there would be at least one Icelander who had distinguished himself in winter sport. They've got a handful of footballers you've heard of, they've got Björk, they've sort of got Magnus Magnusson, they've got half of David "Kid" Jensen ... [I'm not saying a word about the other half of him!]

 

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