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Beijing 2022: Jamaican bobsleigh team makes historic qualification

Jamaica will have three bobsleigh teams compete in the Winter Olympics for the first time, inclusive of a 4-man sled that has qualified for the first time in 24 years.

Not only will this be the first time three bobsleigh teams have qualified, it is also the first time in 24 years that a 4-man team will be competing.

Jamaica will also compete in the two-man bob and the women's monobob.

Four years ago, there was disappointment when a Jamaican men’s sled missed qualifying for PyeongChang 2018 by one spot in the world rankings, but this time around the four-man seized the final spot in the 28-sled field.

They will be racing against perennial powerhouses Germany, Canada, Austria, USA and Switzerland.

While the team is yet to be officially announced, Shanwayne Stephens has been piloting the four-man sled with Rolando Reid, Ashley Watson and Matthew Wekpe the push athletes.

US-Jamaican monobob athlete Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian is expected to appear at her second Olympics.

Jamaica bobsled rose to fame with its Olympic debut at the 1988 Calgary Winter Games, its four-man team that failed to finish inspiring the 1993 Disney film, “Cool Runnings.”

At least one Jamaican men’s sled competed in every Olympics from 1988 through 2002, then again in 2014, with a best finish of 14th.

Since then Jamaica has had at least one men's sled at eight straight Games from 1988 to 2002, also qualifying for Sochi 2014.

Benjamin Alexander also made history by becoming the first Jamaican skier to qualify for the Winter Olympics in alpine skiing under the B criteria.

Jamaica's two-woman bob may get a spot if another nation gives up one of theirs. Canada and Germany for example, have three, while Austria, China, ROC and the USA have two berths each.

Bobsleigh or bobsled is a team winter sport that involves making timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sleigh. (NBC sport)


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