News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Jan. 19, 2014: Jamaica’s bobsled team is again in the news – this time for qualifying for the two-man competition at next month’s Sochi Games in Russia. But while many cheer the team on, sled driver Winston Watts says they need to raise at least US$80,000 to make it to the Games.
The money is desperately needed to cover travel and equipment costs for the team to make its first appearance at the Winter Games in 12 years.
Watts and Marvin Dixon only had to finish their qualifying run in St. Moritz, Switzlerland, with a clean, crash-free run this past weekend to earn a spot to compete at the Olympics. They’ve accomplished this but now they need money.
According to NBC Sports’ Nick Zaccardi, only 30 qualify for the Olympics, and Jamaica is currently ranked 30th. However, only the top 26 are usually guaranteed a spot in the field. Further complicating matters, the official Sochi Olympics Twitter page posted that the Jamaicans had qualified — then the tweet was deleted.
But the Jamaica bobsled team, Team Jamaica, is still pursuing a crowdfunding effort to raise the money for Sochi. On CrowdTilt the fundraising effort has raised over $18,000, with eight days remaining to get to the goal of $80,000.
As Watts, who lives in Evanston, Wyo., a town about an hour from Park City, Utah, tells it, the team may be the most famous because of the movie “Cool Runnings” based on the Jamaican bobsled team that participated in the 1988 Calgary Games but it is among the poorest.
The Jamaica Olympic Association has little money to help teams such as Watts’.
To help, log on to the official Jamaica bobsled CrowdTilt page here.