The Jamaican Bobsled Team Arrives In Sochi Without Equipment

It’s just like the movie! Sort of.

Robert Laberge / Getty

When Jamaica’s two-man bobsled team officially qualified for the Olympics in late January, driver Winston Watts informed the media that he wasn’t sure whether the team could make the trip to Sochi due to a lack in funding. However, after several successful online campaigns were organized by fans, enough money was raised to cover the necessary training and equipment costs, in addition to the travel fees, which were eventually paid for by the Jamaican Olympic Association.

Now the men of the Jamaican bobsled team have another problem: Their equipment is missing. According to Watts, all of their luggage, including runners (blades), shoes, and other gear, did not arrive in Sochi, possibly due to bad weather forcing them to miss their flight to Moscow. Without such equipment, the Jamaicans were unable to participate in training today.

Despite another setback, which Watts describes as “really frustrating,” he remains optimistic and said that “a lot of guys wanted to help us, and we may race on borrowed blades.”

If that scenario sounds familiar, it’s because that’s exactly what happened when Jamaica made its Winter Olympic debut in 1988 when the team had to borrow spare sleds from other countries to compete. The country’s first run inspired the 1993 movie Cool Runnings, which was loosely based on that team.

“I still watch that movie as if it’s the first I’m watching it,” Watts said. “It’s very inspiring.”

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