Jamaican Bobsledders Exit Sochi, But Plan Olympic Return

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Above: Jamaica’s bobsledders in action

By the Caribbean Journal staff

They didn’t medal, and they didn’t really come close. But it’s hard to call the Jamaican Bobsleigh Team’s time at Sochi anything but a resounding success.

Winston Watt and Marvin Dixon’s two-man bobsled crew ended up exiting after the third heat, after last-place finishes in the first and second heat and a second-to-last finish in the third and final heat. (That came after the Serbian team did not start in the third heat.)

But, as has become Jamaica’s wont at the Olympics, summer or winter, the Caribbean squad captivated the hearts of the community at Sochi and around the world on TV, evoking fond memories of the famous 1988 “Cool Runnings” side that inspired the now-classic film.

It was the first time Jamaica qualified for the Winter Olympics since 2002.

In a video message, original 1988 Jamaican bobsledder Devon Harris praised the team’s efforts, vowing that a new wave of talent would soon emerge.

“We’re so proud of the guys – they worked so hard, persevered so much, overcame so many obstacles to get to the Olympic games, and so we’re proud that they were able to once again put Jamaica on Olympic ice and carry on the really rich tradition of Jamaica bobsled.

Harris said the team would begin team trials in the spring, with the eye of starting summer training for both men’s and women’s teams.

In the fall, the plan is to fly the new athletes to Lake Placid to put them on the ice and “see what they’re made of,” he said.

Russia ended up winning the gold medal in the event on Monday, followed by Switzerland and the United States.

 

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