Jamaican Bobsled Team Qualifies For 2014 Winter Olympics
No, that isn't a typo from a 1988 headline. Its true, the Jamaican Bobsled Team is back!
For the first time since 2002 the team has qualified for the Winter Olympics. And in true Jamaican Bobsled fashion, they once again emerged as a likable underdog, this time due to a lack of funding. Despite getting the invitation to go to Sochi, the team didn't have the cash to actually get them to Russia. In fact, they cut their four-man team in half and competed in the two-man race for budgetary reasons. Unfortunately, that still wasn't enough. Not to worry, the Jamaican Bobsled Team is is all about overcoming adversity, and this is no exception:
Not making this up: Jamaican Bobsled team taking PayPal donations to be able to pay to go to Sochi— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) January 19, 2014
That's right, crowdfunding! $30,000 was raised through the cryptocurrency Dogecoin and an additional $80,000 came from Crowdtilt donations, putting them far ahead of their $80k goal.
Most people will remember the Jamaican Bobsled team from the (heavily fictionalized) film Cool Runnings, and while there was a lot of drama added to the story, they truly were the feel-good story of the 1988 Winter Olympics. A bobsled team that never practiced in snow and didn't even have their own bobsled is enough to tear up any level of sports-fan.
Jamaican bobsledding has come a long way since then. They finished in 14th place in the 1994 Winter Olympics, ahead of the United States, Russia, Australia, France and even two sleds from Canada. In 2000 the team won the gold medal at the World Push Championships in Monaco. So maybe the other Nations should be on watch, Jamaica might not be much of an underdog these days after all.
They're certainly past being mistaken for these guys: