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STRANGE OLDE SPORTS - THE JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM FROM 1988 - WHERE DID THEY PRACTICE?

1988 Jamaican Bobsled Team - The Indomitable Olympian Spirit
By Colin Scott

The first Bobsleigh team from Jamaica created history when they appeared at the Winter Olympics games. This was in the 1988 Olympics which were held in Calgary, Canada. The Jamaicans shocked the world and most persons were fascinated with the novelty of the team participating, many persons laughed.

But after their first crack at the Olympic glory they warmed and captured the hearts of persons worldwide. It was even celebrated as Walt Disney did a movie called "Cool Runnings" which further add to the teams rise to fame.

The Jamaicans appearance at the games started when two Americans started with this idea to form a bobsled team. They figured that this sport had a fast start and since Jamaica produces a lot of talented sprinters it could be a success.

The sprinters were not keen on this idea and could not be convinced to try this sport that required them to add their speed to ice. These optimistic gentlemen did not give up the idea and they approached the Jamaica Defense Force with the hope of recruiting some volunteers.

This was where they had more success and was able to form a four man team. The first team members for the Jamaica bobsled were Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Michael White and Samuel Clayton. The selection took place in 1987 and they started the initial training on the island.

You could see these strong young men practicing at the military base on flat concrete and using make shift sleds; this was a far stretch from the ice. But they pushed on and through hard training, poor equipment and struggles they made it to the Olympics. The brother of Dudley Stokes was added to the team later on, his name was Chris Stokes.

The 1988 Winter Olympics was a test of their determination as they were injuries, crashes and technical difficulties. But they headed to the next Olympics in 1992 a more improved, confident and focused team and was placed fourteenth. This shocked the world as they had beaten some of the top teams such as Russian, United States, Italy and France.

They did not stop here and with a two man team some years later they placed tenth and beat the national champions from Sweden in the process. From all of this they went on to other Olympics and started to bring home medals, the Jamaican bobsled team is now a mainstay at the Olympics.

The team has continued over the years with different members but with the same spirit. They have entered in many events and have continued to do well and inspire persons all over the world.

The team now includes persons such as Winston Watt, Mark Hill, Garnet Jones, Lascelles Brown, Clive McDonald and Stewart Maxwell. There is even a women team with Winsome Cole, Porscha Morgan, Dukelyn Barrett and Taniesha Lclean.

The Jamaicans who first formed this bobsled team has managed to inspire and create new interest in the sport on the island. One could not blame the skeptics because when you really think about, what a tropical island is doing with a bobsled team competing on ice. But they did and have chanted new course and encourages persons strive for excellence.
 

STRANGE OLDE SPORTS - THE JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM FROM 1988 - WHERE DID THEY PRACTICE?






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