Jamaica’s Sports Minister Olivia Grange believes that the country’s team to next month’s 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China “demonstrates that nothing is impossible”.
Jamaica is sending four-man and two-man bobsled teams, a women’s Monobob participant as well as an Alpine skier to the Games. Jamaica’s four-man team was qualifying for the Winter Olympics for the first time in almost a quarter century. This is also the largest team ever to represent the country at a Winter Games, an achievement of which the minister is extremely proud.
“‘We don’t have no snow, yet here we are competing against the world’s best on ice,” said Grange during a news conference earlier this week to announce the members of Jamaica’s team who have qualified for the games.
“These are the first Olympics in which Jamaica will be represented in three bobsleigh events. In addition to the women’s Monobob [a new event at the Olympics], we’ve qualified for the two-man event and for the first time in 24 years we’re back in the four-man competition.”
There is the possibility that Jamaica could compete in a fourth bobsleigh event as the two-woman team missed out on a tiebreaker but could still compete as first alternate if one of the qualifying nations withdraws.
“So we keep our fingers crossed,” said the minister, who indicated that the members of Jamaica’s growing Winter sports programme were simply inspirational.
“This generation, and others to come, will look up to you and be inspired by you because of your unlikely presence at the Winter Games representing a tropical country and doing well. You are stories of dedication and commitment filled with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Your hard work has already paid off.
“For the first time at the Winter Olympics, Jamaica will have a competitor in Alpine skiing and I want to congratulate Benjamin Alexander on this wonderful achievement for our country.”
Alexander is the second skier to represent Jamaica at the Winter Games following Errol Kerr, who finished ninth in the Ski Cross at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
“As you go to Beijing, please know that the entire country is cheering you on; and you can continue to count on the support of the Ministry and the Government of Jamaica,” said Grange, whose ministry has been supporting Jamaica’s winter sports programme through direct funding and the provision of equipment.
At the press conference, the Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation also unveiled the uniforms designed by Denise Katz that the athletes will be wearing in competition. A campaign song called We’re More than a Movie, produced by PC Harris was also introduced.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games begin on February 4.