Jamaican Bobsled Set To Qualify For Sochi, But Money Woes May Dash Olympic Dreams

jamaica bobsledWinston Watts feels the rhythm. He feels the rhyme. He just might not have the money.

Watts and teammate Marvin Dixon make up the Jamaican two-man bobsled team that, barring disaster, will qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics this weekend in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

It would be the island nation’s first Olympic bobsled bid since 2002, but due to drastic funding cuts that have already sliced the team from a four-man sled to a two-man sled, Watts and Dixon may not have the resources to make the trip to Sochi.

“In truth, we still don’t really know at the moment if we’d even have enough funds or sponsorship to fly to Sochi itself for the Games itself,” Watts, the team’s driver, told The Telegraph. “It all depends. Our families need to be taken care of first. If there’s no funding, who knows?

“Hopefully, the Jamaican Olympic Association will step in and support us now we’ve qualified.”

Jamaica’s Olympic bobsledding debut was world-renowned thanks to the film Cool Runnings, a fictionalized account of the team that competed in the 1988 Games in Calgary, but the country has competed in the Olympics four times since then. Watts was a member of the 1992, 1994, 1998 and 2002 squads, and even at age 46, he’s confident that he and Dixon — who have dubbed themselves “The Hottest Thing on Ice” — can make noise in Sochi if given the opportunity.

“Man, you should see me! Age is just a number,” Watts said. “You’d never believe I was a man of 46. You’d say maybe 30, 35. I’m big, dark and handsome, like a 6-foot, 235-pound running back.”

And, yes, he loves Cool Runnings.

“It’s a movie you cannot get tired of watching,” Watts told TODAY.com in October. “It’s very touching. It’s just so emotional. Even up until today I watch that movie like it’s new. It’s just inspirational.”

Photo via Twitter/@IrieDame