An Internet crowdfunding effort helped send the cash-strapped Jamaican bobsled team to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Getting all of the team’s gear to Sochi, however, has caused even greater headaches for the island nation.
The two-man team of Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon is at the Olympic site but is unable to practice because the blades for their sled and their bobsled uniforms have yet to arrive.
“The sled is here,” Watts, Jamaica’s most decorated Olympic bobsledder, told The Associated Press. “But the blades that we put our heart out to get, the airline maybe left them back in New York. None of us have clothing.”
Watts and Dixon were forced to miss their first scheduled training run Wednesday and will have to borrow gear from other sleds if theirs does not arrive by Thursday. Watts, who has only the clothes he wore to Sochi, called the situation “frustrating” but insisted his team is not panicking.
“I do have a backup plan,” Watts said. “We do have a lot of guys here that want to help us, so I’m excited to see what’s going to be the outcome [Thursday].”
Sochi marks a return to Olympic bobsledding after a 12-year absence for the Jamaican team, which famously made its debut at the 1988 games in Calgary. Watts, 46, is making his fifth Olympic appearance, having competed on the 1992, 1994, 1998 and 2002 squads.
Jamaica failed to qualify in 2006 and 2010.
Photo via Facebook/Jamaica Olympics