Hype Life Magazine Sports Reports
The popular Jamaican bobsled team is back in Sochi, ending a 12-year Olympics absence and still drawing minorities to winter sports.
Not only are they a top contender for the goal, but they are also claimed to be the most popular team at the Winter Olympics.
The popular Jamaican bobsled team is in Sochi, ending a 12-year Olympics absence and still drawing minorities to winter sports.
Jamaica made its improbable Olympic debut at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta, with a sled built with borrowed parts from other teams, a feel-good story that was the basis for the 1993 Disney film Cool Runnings.
Years later, JamBob isn’t the best bobsled team in the world, but it’s perhaps one of the most influential.
The team’s exploits have inspired other warm-weather countries to enter the Winter Olympics and spawned a generation people — many of them minorities — who have gravitated to bobsledding and other winter sports.
“The people love us like crazy,” Winston Watts said.
“This movie, Cool Runnings, really opened the way for a lot of different nations’ athletes. Every time they see the Jamaica bobsled team, they always sharing with us: ‘Hey, I just saw the Cool Runnings movie.’ It’s something the rest of the world, they cannot stop talk about.”
Jamaica appears intent on being a winter sports staple. Winston Watts’ goal is to keep the bobsled team’s legacy alive. And Jamaica joined the International Ice Hockey Federation in 2012 with the goal of competing in the Winter Olympics in the near future.
The nation of 1.9 million people currently has one indoor ice rink and about 20 hockey players, according to the IIHF.
While Olympic medals are probably out of reach for Jamaica in Sochi, Watts and company have it to be serious competitors and show the world that they’re no novelty act.