GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA – Next stop is Tokyo in 2020 for the oompah band Kleintje Pils, aka “the Dutch giants on clogs” at the Pyeongchang Games.
It will be full circle if they make it to the Summer Games in two years’ time. The brass band, known for their stirring renditions of classics like Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” started out at the 1998 Nagano Games in Japan.
The Dutch already reign supreme on the ice at the speedskating oval and on Wednesday, Kleintje Pils, which translates to “Small Beer,” took the infield again.
“Just before leaving for Korea, we studied the song ‘Gangnam Style’ and it has become our biggest hit here,” said Ruud Bakker, who wields a bass drum. “Koreans may be subdued, but this gets them going.”
Decked out in their orange-striped shirts, casual pants and wooden shoes, Kleintje Pils had its first performance at a hockey match.
“The fans are different. They raised the roof,” said Bakker.