The Jamaican Four-Man Bobsled Team Has Qualified For The 2022 Winter Olympics
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A Jamaican four-man bobsled team will represent their country this year in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, marking the first time in 24 years the country will compete in the event, last appearing at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. The four-man team - which is expected to include Shanwayne Stephens, Rolando Reid, Ashley Watson and Matthew Wekpe - qualified after making it into the top 28 places.
And this isn't the only success the country has enjoyed; Jamaica has qualified for three different Olympic bobsled events in total, securing their place in the four-man, two-man sled and women’s monobob categories.
They did, however, narrowly miss out on securing a spot in the two-woman bobsled event thanks to a tiebreak but might still make it if one of the qualified nations give up their spot.
Celebrating the news via Twitter, the official Team Jamaica account wrote: "BREAKING: JAMAICA, WE HAVE A BOBSLED TEAM HEADING TO BEIJING! "It will be fire on ice as #TeamJamaica secured their spot at the 2022 Beijing #WinterOlympics. This will be the 1st time JAM has qualified in 3 Olympic bobsled events: four-man, two-man and women’s monobob."
The team referenced the beloved 1993 Disney film Cool Runnings - which was based on Jamaica's Olympic debut at the 1988 Calgary Winter Games - quoting, 'It will be fire on ice'.
Ashley Watson, who is set to join the four-man team as a push sledder, wrote on his Facebook page: "A childhood dream has come a reality. I gave up on this dream a few years back although I knew the elite athlete in me hasn't died yet and had unfinished business.
"Blood, sweat and tears went into this and it has paid off! Best day of my sporting career!
"I was honoured to selected to compete in 13 out of the 16 races this season and gave it all I had."
News of Jamaica's qualifying success comes as Beijing confirms there will be no general sale of tickets due to concerns over Covid-19. Instead, there are plans for an 'adapted programme that will invite groups of spectators to be present on site during the Games'.
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