By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, SOCHI, Russia, Mon. Feb. 17, 2014, 6 p.m.: Jamaica’s bobsleigh team, despite their best effort, failed to qualify on Monday in the bobsleigh finals in Sochi.
The team finally got their chance on the ice at Sochi on Sunday and gave it their best shot in the three heats despite a 12-year absence from the Olympic, a broken visor and a rattling sled.
The two man team of 46-year-old Winston Watts and his brake-man Marvin Dixon, 30, were not intimidated by the giants on the sled, including Russia, Switzerland the United States who ended up winning the top three medals in the finals.
Watts managed to keep his country in the heats, even though they were placed at a dead last after the third heat. The veteran Olympian managed to keep the sleigh from crashing at Sanki Cliding Center even though he ended up racing with a flapping visor and a careening sled.
“It’s just one of those things, I pulled my visor and with all the adrenaline it just broke and I said, ‘well, I’m not going to stop now, I’ll show the world I’ve got heart and I’ll take my sled down’,” Watts revealed after the run.
He managed to cross the finish line at 58.81 seconds, behind the leaders, Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda of Russia who finished their heat at 56.25.
Still their run was enough to make fans, including the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, very proud. “Loving the Jamaica Bobsleigh team on ice, #CoolRunnings, #TeamJamaica, #FireonIce,” Bolt tweeted.
As Watts summed up their run accurately: “We have gone out to compete the best we can and to show the world we’re still alive. “Win or lose I’m still here and we are happy. The crowd are rooting for us, they know we are just a small little island.”
The team is winning with fans globally including with its own song. The duo’s trek to Sochi was largely funded by the public and their story of diligence over adversity, much like the ‘Cool Runnings’ movie, has definitely handed them the gold despite their outcome on the tracks at Sochi. And their fans on social media continues to grow much as those singing their song and praises.
Catch the Jamaican bobsleigh son here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=r71JHunY8rI