Articles Comments

» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » JAMAICAN WOMEN’S “FIRE ON ICE” BOBSLED TEAM AIMS FOR OLYMPIC DEBUT, 30 YEARS AFTER “COOL RUNNINGS!”

JAMAICAN WOMEN’S “FIRE ON ICE” BOBSLED TEAM AIMS FOR OLYMPIC DEBUT, 30 YEARS AFTER “COOL RUNNINGS!”

By Sadef Kully

 

It’s been 30 nearly years since the Jamaican men’s bobsled team first stepped onto the track at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, inspiring viewers so much that their improbable story was turned into the movie “Cool Runnings.”

Now it could be the Jamaican women’s turn to make bobsled history, with the team busy training for qualifying in hopes of making their first-ever Olympic appearance in 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

Jamaican women bobsled team

Jamaican women bobsled team

In January, the women were on the verge of falling apart, despite being able to compete in Olympic qualifying events, with no coach and dwindling finances. But with some will and luck, the team found financing and a resourceful coach in experienced bobsled manager Jo Manning, allowing them to begin competing.

“Our team is filled with experienced, world-class, elite athletes. Although my brakewomen may have limited experience in bobsleigh, [they] are some of the most elite with training, physical ability and mental toughness,” team pilot Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian said in an email to NBC, adding that their “unruly work ethic” is one of several characteristics that’s helping them.

The team has been training in Pyeongchang since March, giving themselves the name, “Gold Squad: Fire on Ice,” according to team media coordinator Kathleen Pulito.

The team is striving “to make history as the first Winter Olympic women’s team for Team Jamaica and looking to bring home the first Winter Olympic medal for the women’s team!” Pulito said in an email.

The team has World Cup competitions coming up in November, Pulito said. Qualification ends in January.

Leon and other cast members in "Cool Runnings"

Leon and other cast members in “Cool Runnings”

Fenlator-Victorian, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Jamaica, competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics for the U.S. She began her athletic career in track and field before transferring over to bobsled in 2007, where she started as a brakewoman.

Bobsled athletes often come from the world of track and field, since a strong sprint out of the gate can determine a bobsled’s success or failure. Fenlator-Victorian will be joined by track and field stars-turned-brakewomen Carrie Russell and Audra Segree on the team.

The Jamaican men’s bobsled team did not qualify to compete for Pyeongchang. The country’s two-man team had a last-place finish at the Sochi Games in 2014.

Written by

Filed under: BREAKING NEWS, Featured

%d bloggers like this: