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Jamaican bobsledders heading to Sochi

Tue., Jan. 21, 2014

Get ready, Sochi: The Jamaicans are coming, and they’re bringing their bobsled.

Jamaican bobsled pilot Winston Watts and the nation’s Olympic Committee said Monday they are accepting an invitation to compete in next month’s Sochi Olympics.

It’s the first time the Jamaican bobsled team will compete in the Games since 2002 in Salt Lake City, when the Jamaicans finished 28th.

The invitation comes after Watts accumulated enough points in lower-tier races in North America to qualify.

“Oh, man, it’s really overwhelming,” Watts said in a telephone interview. “I’m really happy. I have the whole entire world behind us. The Jamaica bobsled team is very popular, but when I see and hear that the whole entire world, even the Middle East – I mean, really, there’s a place in the Middle East that calls me and I don’t even know its name – we have fans from so far away. For a little tiny island, it’s so emotional.”

Jamaican Olympic officials said they and the Sochi Organizing Committee would cover all travel costs for the team.

Watts said he is still doing fundraising for equipment, such as different kinds of runners to choose from, depending on ice conditions.

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