The Jamaican bobsleigh team almost didn’t make it to the Olympics as their
journey mirrored that of film Cool Runnings, the team’s captain has
The team missed their connecting flight to Sochi, ended up being separated
from their luggage and missing the first day of training and the chance to
do practice runs down the Olympic track.
However Winston Watts, who was brought out of retirement to lead the team,
said being involved in the competition was a good chance to put “Jamaica on
the map and remind the world we are still alive.”
He said they had other young aspiring athletes they hoped would compete in
“We had to miss the first day of training because we’d missed our flight from
New York,” Watts told Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I didn’t have any runs on that track before, while the other teams had
hundreds. I had about six runs before the actual race.”
The team missed their flight to Sochi from New York, which meant they got
separated from their luggage and the runners they intended to use on the
sled over in Russia, as well as all their sliding gear.
And their journey to Sochi also mirrored the film, as they were forced to rely
on self funding and the good will of friends and fans to make a lot of the
preparations ofr the Winter Games.
Watts was brought out of retirement to lead the team and help them qualify.
“When we started two years ago we didn’t have any funding and I started off
funding it myself through my own bank account,” added Watts, 46.
”Up until the last moment I asked my family and friends for donations so we
could get to Sochi.”
The Jamaican team finished 29th in the two man competition, but Watts said
they are preparing to try out more young athletes back in Jamaica for future