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Jamaica Olympic body foots transport bill for bobsleigh team

Published:Monday | January 20, 2014 | 10:32 AM

Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) a short while ago announced that it had received confirmation that Jamaica has qualified to compete in the two-man bobsleigh at next month's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The JOA also noted that it will be covering all cost associated with getting the team from its Wyoming, USA training base to the Russian city, while all local expenses will be covered by the Sochi 2014 Local Organising Committee.

Jamaica first competed in bobsleigh at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics – a feat that was later lionized by the Disney film 'Cool Runnings'.

The tropical island nation also competed in the event in 1992, 1994, 1998 and 2002, but missed the last two Winter Olympics.

Veteran team captain and driver Winston Watts told The Gleaner in an earlier interview that the team needed significant funding if it was to make the trip, a call that has been answered by the JOA.

"The JOA, through its solidarity programme, has given significant financial assistance to the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation which has been used to enable the team to qualify for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

All travel costs of the team from Salt Lake City (USA), Calgary (Canada) and Kingston, Jamaica to Sochi are covered by the JOA and Sochi 2014 Organising Committee," said the JOA through a release.

"As is customary, all local expenses including accommodation and transportation are met by the Organising Committee for the Games," the release continued.

Jamaica will be sending a five member delegation to the games: Watts, Marvin Dixon (crew), Wayne Blackwood (alternate crew), Thomas Samuel (coach) and Nelson Christian Stokes (Chef de Mission).

The Chef de Mission is scheduled to arrive in Sochi on February 3 and the team will arrive on February 4.

The first official event will be the Flag Raising Ceremony in the athletes’ village on February 5.

The Opening Ceremony of the Games will be on Friday, February 7 and the competition for the 2-Man Bobsleigh team will take place on February 19 and 20.


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