The Jamaican Olympics Bobsled Team Is Coming Back & The Women Are Leading The Charge
It might come as surprise to you that the 2018 Winter Olympics are just around the corner, but this quadrennial display of athleticism is coming so soon. What might be even more surprising, though, is that the plot of one your favorite Disney movies is about to come to life once again. If you're familiar with Cool Runnings and the story of the 1988 Olympic men's Jamaican bobsled team, then you're going to want to tune in to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics to keep an eye on the 2018 Olympics Jamaican bobsled team.
To stay fitting with the Disney movie theme, the 2018 women's Jamaican bobsled team will make its very own Olympics debut 30 years after the men's team participated for the first time at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, according to ESPN. This is the first women's bobsled team to ever compete for Jamaica in the Winter Olympics, and it have some fierce competitors going to PyeongChang, South Korea, to represent the island nation.
The 2018 Jamaican bobsled team will compete in the two-man women's bobsled competition, which takes place on Feb. 20 and 21 in PyeongChang. Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, who piloted for Team USA in Sochi, will pilot the sled; Carrie Russell, an elite Jamaican sprinter, will be the push-man and brakeman for the sled; and Audra Segree, also a sprinter, was picked as alternate brakeman for the sled.
Fenlator-Victorian, Russell, and Segree combined their athleticism with the help and guidance of their coach, Sandra Kiriasis, to become the first Jamaican women's bobsled team to qualify for the Winter Olympics, according to Deadspin — which is seriously impressive. Kiriasis won a gold medal in the bobsled competition when she competed for Germany at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
Kiriasis also helped the Jamaican team pilot, Fenlator-Victorian, with one more crucial (er, fun) aspect of bobsledding: the naming of the sled. According to NBC, Fenlator-Victorian was ready to make history becoming the first woman to pilot a Jamaican bobsled in the Winter Olympics, but she was stuck when it came to the sled name. That is, until Kiriasis texted her with the perfect name to solve her problem: "Mr. Cool Bolt."
OK, if you didn't love the Jamaican bobsled team before, you probably are setting the DVR now to watch them guide Mr. Cool Bolt across the finish line. The name of course pays homage to the 1993 Disney Film about the 1988 men's Olympic team, Cool Runnings. While a nod to Disney is enough for me to love it, they also snuck in the last name of Usain Bolt, who just so happens to be the fastest man of all time. With a loaded bobsled name like that, Fenlator-Victorian hopes it will inspire some speed at competition time.
Since Fenlator-Victorian's father is Jamaican and she grew up in the United States, she is able to compete for both teams. After representing the United States in Sochi in 2014, she is making history in 2018 with her Jamaican women's bobsled teammates. The other two women who complete the team are no strangers to competition, either. Russell, who will push the sled, is the perfect choice since she helped the Jamaican track team win gold in the 4x100-meter relay at the 2013 World Championships, per USA Today. Alternate brakeman, Segree, also brings the sprinting speed with a personal best time of 11.30 seconds in the 100-meter competition, according to The Caribbean National Weekly.
When the Jamaican women's bobsled team makes history in PyeongChang, it'll be joined by another barrier-breaking team: the Nigerian women's bobsled team. Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga, and Ngozi Onwumere are the three women who will be the first people to represent an African nation in the sport of bobsled at the Winter Olympics, according to Yahoo Sports. Furthermore, they will be the first Nigerians to ever compete in the Winter Olympics.
So, as the Winter Olympics kick off on Feb. 9 in PyeongChang, keep an eye out for the two-man women's bobsled competition. Not only will you see these fierce athletes giving it their all, but you'll also witness an awesome piece of history.