Netherlands National Team Quotes
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Mark Vink is a physician in the Netherlands who suddenly fell ill with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). He wasn’t just your typical physician; he also happened to have a brown belt in judo, was the former captain of a Dutch national field hockey championship team and was a marathoner and triathlete.
In other words, the guy was a stud who loved to test himself physically – the last person anyone would ever expect to get ME/CFS. Or end up bed bound. Or end up using a six yard tramp from his bed to the bathroom to test his exercise capacity.
But that’s what happened. Mark Vink’s ME/CFS story – like many stories – is so striking in its suddenness and so devastating in its comprehensive that it beggars the mind to think that anyone could believe his downfall could have other than a physiological cause.
The viewing figures we saw earlier in this book suggest that sport is the most important communal activity in many people’s lives. Nearly a third of Americans watch the Super Bowl. However, European soccer is even more popular. In the Netherlands, possibly the European country that follows its national team most eagerly, three-quarters of the population watch Holland’s biggest soccer games. In many European countries, World Cups may now be the greatest shared events of any kind. To cap it all, World Cups mostly take place in June, the peak month for suicides in the Northern Hemisphere. How many Exleys have been saved from jumping off apartment buildings by international soccer tournaments, the world’s biggest sporting events?
Simon Kuper (Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport)