Jamaica almost didn’t have a bobsled team… Well, kind of.
Just days before the women’s bobsled competition was set to begin, Jamaica’s coach Sandra Kiriasis abruptly left the team as she refused a request to change roles from driving coach to track performance analyst.
Kiriasis told the British News Organization that she is legally responsible for the sled and threatened to take it with her.
The Jamaicans nearly lost not one but two key parts of their team just days before their Olympic debut.
The sled, which was named ‘Cool Bolt’ (an ode to the movie Cool Runnings and star Olympian Usain Bolt), allegedly left the Olympic village with Sandra.
How can you bobsled without a sled?
After the news broke on social media, a knight in shining armor came to the rescue in the form of a tweet.
Yes, that’s an actual tweet and yes, the offer is real.
Sleds weigh in at a hefty $7M in Jamaican dollars, which equates to approximately $56,000USD.
Red Stripe USA is the no. 1 beer in the native country, and what better way to give back then to help your Olympic team out?
The general manager of the company responded when asked if this generous donation was legit. “This is not a joke. The games are an honor to compete in, and as the No. 1 beer in Jamaica, we want to help those athletes realize their dreams. The athletes clearly have no quit, so we would love to do our part and put the cost of a new bobsled on our ‘bar tab.’”
The Jamaican bobsled team can go to sleep at night knowing their training and prepartion for the Olympics weren’t for nothing.
Red Stripe USA has saved the day.
However, it is not clear if Red Stripe has purchased a new sled or the exsisting ‘Cool Bolt’ sled.
On account of IOC’s Rule 40, Jamaica’s NOC rep would not discuss the details of the deal. Asked whether the team would be in a new sled or the same sled for competition, she said: “We’ll have to wait and see.” She added that Red Stripe’s PR team will be launching a campaign tomorrow. We are currently reaching out to the PR firm to see if they have more information.
JBF president Chris Stokes commented, “We have been gifted a bobsled from Red Stripe. We have accepted their generosity and we are currently preparing the sled. The team is in competition mode and we are focused on one goal – coming to the start line prepared mentally and physically.”
Their Olympic debut will happen after all. Jamaican athletes Carrie Russell and Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian made history when they became the Caribbean island’s first women’s bobsled team to compete on the international stage.
Catch the team in action on their new sled on Saturday for the beginning of training runs. They will compete for a medal next week.