Jamaica's Bobsled Team Makes History in Qualifying for Winter Olympics

The Jamaican bobsled team is going back to the Olympics. According to Olympic Talk, Jamaica's four-man bobsled team has qualified for the 2022 Winter Olympics for the first time in 24 years. They grabbed the final spot in the 28-sled field based on international results this season. The Winter Olympics will begin on Feb. 4 and will take place in Beijing, China. 

Along with the four-man team qualifying for the Olympics, the two-man team will be heading to Beijing as well as a women's monobob, which is a new Olympic event. This is the first time Jamaica has qualified for three bobsled events. The four-man roster has not been announced yet, but Shanwayne Stephens is expected to pilot the squad, During the season, Stephens has competed with push athletes Matthew Wekpe, Ashley Watson and Rolando Reid. 

The last time Jamaica's four-man team competed in the Winter Olympics was at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan. The first time the squad competed in the Winter Olympics was the 1998 Games in Calgary, Alberta which was the subject of the popular 1993 Disney film Cool Runnings which starred John Candy, Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug Malik Yoba, and Raymond Berry. The original four-man team was Michael White, Dudley Stokes, Devon Harris and Frederick Powell.

"Much later I came to understand what Jamaican bobsleigh meant to the people at this time and continues to mean, it's the finest part of the Olympic Movement," Stokes told Olympics.com in December. "When I speak now about Jamaica bobsleigh, I speak about the Jamaica bobsleigh movement, which is an idea. It's not time on the ice. It's an idea that regardless of where you're from or your circumstances or who your parents were, you can move yourself into other places, you can make more of yourself. You can do more than you thought, more than people around you expect."

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The 1988 team did not finish their race in the Olympics due to them crashing on the final turn. In 1992, the team finished 25th in the Winter Olympics and then finished 14th in 1994. The 1998 team finished 21st before not qualifying for the next 24 years.