JAMAICA’S OLYMPICS BOBSLEIGH adventure ended with a whimper on Monday as the country that once inspired the Hollywood smash hit “Cool Runnings” finished rock bottom at the Sochi sliding centre.
Jamaica, who qualified for the Winter Games after a 12-year absence, were hoping to represent their country with the same vigour and enthusiasm shown by their 1988 Calgary counterparts, who inspired the movie.
But despite vocal support from the crowd, Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon were unable to produce the miracle they needed in the third run to make up their time deficit from the first two heats — finishing 29th out of 29 runners.
The Jamaicans’ Twitter account showed a picture of brakeman Marvin Dixon kissing a “lucky egg” but neither that nor a Bob Marley flag in the crowd could inspire them to success in their distinctive yellow, green and black sled.
The Jamaicans finished a huge 6.50sec behind the leading Russian team and 3.02sec off the Dutch team, who took 20th spot — the cut-off point to qualify for the fourth run.
The team were helped on their journey to Russia by donations from around the world and buoyed by the goodwill of their global fan-base.
They managed to overcome a serious setback right after their arrival in Sochi as their luggage and equipment went missing on their way to Russia.
Pilot Watts, competing in his fourth Olympics, said on Sunday he had not given up on the next Games, even at the ripe old age of 46.
“It’s not my first Olympics and I hope it won’t be my last,” he said. “Even if we are first or last we are happy to be here, and in Jamaica they appreciate any place finish.”