‘Cool Runnings’ revisited as Jamaican women qualify in bobsled

The three-member team emulated its compatriots 30 years ago, when a men’s team from the Caribbean nation first made its fairytale appearance at the 1988 Calgary Winter Games.

A team of Jamaican bobsledders first gained fame in 1988 when it made its Olympic debut in Calgary.   -  AP (Representative Image)

A Jamaican women’s bobsled team has qualified for next month’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, 30 years after a men’s team from the Caribbean nation first made its fairytale appearance at the 1988 Calgary Games, it was reported here on Monday.

Local media citing the Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation said the women’s team sealed qualification over the weekend.

The three-member team comprises Carrie Russell, Audra Segree and pilot Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian. Fenlator-Victorian, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Jamaica, represented the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics before switching back to compete for Jamaica.

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Russell, 27, was a member of the Jamaican women’s 4x100m relay team which won gold at the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

‘Experienced, world-class, elite athletes’

A team of Jamaican bobsledders first gained fame in 1988 when it made its Olympic debut in Calgary, becoming a popular underdog story of the games. The team’s exploits provided the inspiration for the 1993 movie “Cool Runnings.”

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In comments to U.S. broadcaster NBC last November, Fenlator-Victorian said the Jamaican squad was made up of “experienced, world-class, elite athletes.”

“Although my brakewomen may have limited experience in bobsleigh, [they] are some of the most elite with training, physical ability and mental toughness,” Fenlator-Victorian was quoted as saying.