Jamaican Bobsled Team Hopes To Medal At Beijing Winter Olympics
A member of the Jamaican bobsled team has high hopes for the Olympics—so high, in fact, that they have never been matched.
Indeed, Sheffield Hallam University student Ashley Watson is part of the four-man bobsled team competing in Beijing, and he thinks his team can record the nation’s highest-ever placing at a Winter Olympics.
It’s the first time in 24 years that a four-man crew will represent Jamaica—shadowing the legendary 1988 team that inspired the 1993 movie Cool Runnings.
The 1988 games in Calgary were Jamaica’s debut in bobsled. The team—Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Michael White and Nelson Stokes—crashed and carried their sled over the finish line but won the hearts of fans all over the globe. Watson, 28, wants to set records though.
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Jamaica’s four-man bobsled team last qualified for the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, in 1998, finishing 21st. The team’s best finish was 14th at Lillehammer in 1994.
“This would be a good benchmark to beat to become the best team in Jamaican history,” Watson said, “there is no point entering a competition without thinking you can get a medal.”
Watson, who just earned his master’s degree in physiotherapy, said he “didn’t feel too pressured” as the team—Matthew Wekpe, Nimroy Turgott and L/Cpl Shanwayne Stephens—trained hard.
“I am very excited to race, the track is very impressive and I think we can do well,” Watson said.
The four-man bobsled event begins on Saturday, February, 19.
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