Jamaica clinched a place in the men’s four-man bobsleigh, signalling the Caribbean island’s return to the ice at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
It is the first time in 24 years that Jamaica, the self-proclaimed ‘hottest thing on ice’, has qualified for the four-man bobsleigh.
The reggae nation’s last appearance was at the 1998 Nagano Games in Japan.
The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF), which published the allocated quota places on Monday (January 17), confirmed Jamaica secured one of the 28-sledge National Olympic Committee (NOC) slots.
Triggering memories of the 1993 Disney cult classic Cool Runnings, British-born bobsledder Shanwayne Stephens, with his 600 points, is expected to lead with teammates Rolando Reid, Ashley Watson and Matthew Wilson who have been on all his competitive runs this season, according to NCB Sports.
Jamaica also secured spots in the two-man sledge and a place in the new event of women’s monobob—the most the island has ever entered in a single Winter Olympics.
The country just missed a two-woman spot on a tiebreaker, however, but can get in as first alternate if one qualified nation gives up its place.
The Chris Stokes-led Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, which spent much of the last two years shoring up support for the country’s athletes, will feel vindicated sending the biggest-ever Jamaican contingent to the Winter Olympics held in less than a month in China.
Benjamin Alexander, a former UK deejay, also qualified under Jamaica’s black, green and gold in Alpine skiing, becoming only the second man to represent the island in giant slalom.