Tags: jamaican | bobsled | team | sochi

Jamaican Bobsled Team Completes First Two Runs at Sochi Despite Setbacks

Image: Jamaican Bobsled Team Completes First Two Runs at Sochi Despite Setbacks

By Michael Mullins   |   Friday, 07 Feb 2014 12:08 PM

The Jamaican bobsled team did its first two runs down the Sanki Sliding Center track on Thursday, despite the delayed arrival of the team's equipment at the Sochi Games earlier in the week.

The Jamaicans have been a phenomenon for more than a quarter-century, dating to the team's Olympic debut in Calgary in 1988, which became the storyline for the 1993 John Candy film "Cool Runnings." They last brought their bobsled to the Olympics in 2002.

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Due to the late arrival of their gear, the Jamaican bobsled teammates were forced to sit out and watch on their first day at the Olympic venue, The Associated Press reported.

According to Jamaican bobsled driver Winston Watts, the team's gear had been tampered with before it arrived at their hotel.

"Security went through them. I don't know who, but the lids were open," Watts told the AP, referring to a whey protein powder container that had spilled all over the team's equipment. "I didn't look at my bags last night and all of the stuff was all over my stuff. Protein. They take the seal off and open. They may think there was something else in there."

After qualifying for the Olympic Games last year, the Jamaican bobsled team had to raise money from fans to afford the costs associated with competing in the games, primarily the purchase of equipment and travel expenses. After the fundraising calls went out, the team quickly raised $178,000 and had to eventually tell fans to stop donating, the AP reported.

"We didn't want them to think that we're greedy people," Watts said. "We said we wanted this to make it possible to get better equipment and that's what our goal was. And apparently it went on and on because people want to achieve and they haven't seen us for a long period of time."

As unique as their story is, considering the team is coming from a Caribbean island known for its Olympic sprinters and hot climate, the Jamaican bobsled team is considered a longshot to win any medals in Sochi.

According to the online gambling site Bovada.com, the Jamaican bobsled team has 50/1 odds that it will medal, and 9/1 that it will finish in the Top 10.

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