Jamaica Bobsleigh Team: Continuing the Legend of Tropical Bobsleds

  In the western sports world, there is a unique term called “Jamaica Bobsleigh Team”, which is used to describe some sports teams that seem impossible to achieve good results.
  Located in the northwest of the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica has a typical tropical rainforest climate with an average annual temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. It is such a tropical country that has never had snow and has sent many athletes to participate in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. One of the important competitions is bobsleigh.
  Many people believe that Jamaica’s bobsled athletes came to Beijing to continue writing Jamaica’s tropical bobsleigh legend, inspired and influenced by their predecessors.
  The true story was turned into a movie
  . In 1993, Disney made the movie “Cool Runnings” based on the story of the Jamaican bobsled team. In the movie, the three Jamaican youths were originally good sprinters, but unfortunately they stumbled and fell in the Olympic trials and were not selected for the national team. They desperately hoped to take part in the Olympics when they were young and strong, so on a whim, they invited former Olympic champions for guidance and stumbled to form the first sled team in Jamaica’s history.
  Three sprinters, one of the best cart drivers on the island, plus a fat American coach, a Jamaican who has never seen snow, decided to go from the tropics to the ice and snow to participate in the Winter Olympics.
  It was 1988, and even if they searched all over Jamaica, it was impossible to find a sled. Without equipment, they pieced together hard hats, flight hats, steel helmets, football helmets and armor; without sleds, they used carts to refit them, found a dirt slope, and started practicing; in order to adapt to the cold of ice and snow, they Lock yourself in a big refrigerator; if you don’t have money, go to the versatile talents of Jamaicans-busking to raise money.
  Once, the sled lost control and crashed into a police car. When the police laughed and mocked their self-proclaimed “Jamaica sled team”, the coach shouted excitedly: “5.9! 5.9! You did it! Go back to the mountain and let me continue practicing! ”
  In the end, they qualified for the Winter Olympics. But the rehearsal was just a rehearsal, and when it came to the real scene in the ice and snow, the situation got worse again. When the black skin appeared on the ice rink, there was a sudden silence, and people’s surprise was as obvious as the difference between their skin colors.
  They analyzed the team most likely to win the championship – the Swiss team, so they copied the Swiss team’s routine day and night. In the end, he slipped out for 59.4 seconds and reached the final with the bottom score. In the finals, they tried their best again, skating for 56.5 seconds, 3 seconds faster than the last time.
  Although the gold medal was not won in the end, the Jamaican bobsled team turned from a joke to a passionate story.
  Crowdfunding sled and coach
  ”Ride on Ice” is based on the real experience of Jamaican athlete Sam Clayton and his teammates. It was the highest-grossing movie under Disney Pictures that year. In reality, the Jamaica bobsled team debuted at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. The players insisted on pushing the sled to the finish line when they overturned in the third race.
  The team became Jamaica’s national heroes, and their portraits were featured on postage stamps. Inspired by them, Jamaican athletes have been working hard to participate in every Winter Olympics since 1988. At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Jamaica qualified for the men’s double sled. This is something worth celebrating, but the bobsleigh team is a bit of a headache because they still need funds. The team thought of the Internet, where they sold a book about the history of the bobsled team and relied on an online payment tool to accept donations. After 26 years, the 46-year-old Winston Watts and his new teammate Marvin Dixon appeared on the track again, rekindling the legend of the bobsled foursome.
  The game is still rough. On the second lap, Watts insisted on finishing the race with a damaged visor, ranking 30th, failing to break through the 14th place in the four-seater sled in 1994, 4.41 seconds slower than the leading Russian team. But who cares? For the Jamaica bobsleigh team, they have captured the hearts of all the audience. Jamaican Usain Usain Usain Bolt also tweeted: “Always love the Jamaica bobsleigh team! Coolest ride on ice.”
  In order to enter the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the Jamaican bobsled team has started crowdfunding to recruit coaches. French Minister of Culture Olivia Grande said with emotion: “The Jamaican bobsleigh team’s equipment is second-hand, borrowed, and funds are raised. With these, they can shock the world, let alone if they have funds Sufficient and well-equipped.”
  In 2018, two members of the Jamaican women’s bobsled team came to Pyeongchang as they wished, and this was the first time in history that Jamaican girls participated in the Winter Olympics. The female player Victoria once represented the United States in the 2014 Winter Olympics and won the 11th place in the sled race. This time, she will return to her father’s country to represent Jamaica in the competition; another female player is the 2013 Moscow Athletics World Championships 4×100 M relay champion Russell. The two girls shed their former aura and devoted themselves to sled racing and set off for the country.
  The girls also encountered twists and turns before the game. The conflict between Jamaican sports officials and the sled team coach Sandra directly led to Sandra’s resignation with the only sled borrowed from Germany. The sled team had no sleds available before the game. This is like a soldier who is about to go to the battlefield but finds that he has no bullets, and directly stops the Jamaicans from the gate of the Olympics.
  Luckily, in support of the women’s bobsled team, the Red Ribbon beer maker posted on social media that it would spend $50,000 to fund a sled in Jamaica.
  ”This is the first time we have our own sleds, no need to rent other companies! We can also decide to put stickers on the sleds!” The Jamaica sled team wrote Bolt’s name under the car, which is not only a tribute, but also A good wish. At the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, Jamaica sent nine athletes to participate, making history.
  There is a proverb in Jamaica: “A small country has a strong will!” Without sleds, coaches, and sufficient financial support, even daily training is difficult, but Jamaicans, with their unyielding Olympic spirit, have proved to the world that A tropical country can also enter the Winter Olympics.