• Sochi 2014

Gear finally arrives for Jamaican bobsled team

ESPN staff
February 6, 2014
The Jamaican bobsled team practiced at the Olympic venue in Russia for the first time on Thursday © Getty Images

The Jamaican bobsled team are back on track after their training equipment finally arrived at the Sochi Winter Olympics - nearly a day after they did.

Driver Winston Watts and his teammates made their first two runs down the Sanki Sliding Center track on Thursday.

The Jamaicans, at their first Winter Olympics since 2002, were unable to train upon arrival on Wednesday because their luggage had been on a later flight to Russia.

The real Cool Runnings

"When John Candy spoke to me, he said, 'Whoah, I'm playing a completely different role!'" © Getty Images

The team were forced into the role of mere bystanders on their first day at the Olympic venue, with their clothing, sliding suits, helmets and expensive runners for their two-man sled nowhere to be seen.

However the gear finally arrived around midnight - though Watts was less than pleased after it appeared security had tampered with their belongings, including their containers of protein powder, some of which he got in his eyes after putting on his helmet.

"Security went through them. I don't know who, but the lids were open," Watts said. "I didn't look at my bags last night and all of the stuff was all over my stuff. Protein. They take the seal off and open. They may think there was something else in there."

The Jamaicans, whose journey to the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988 was told in the film Cool Runnings, have helped shine the spotlight on the sport of bobsled once again at Sochi. And Watts said he and his teammates have again been embraced by the world's other sliders.

"All the guys in here, we are a family," Watts said. "The bobsleigh circuit is like a family and we're welcomed. All people love Jamaica. When Jamaica is not around, they're not happy because we are a fun-loving, caring group. We make people smile all the time even when they are having a bad day. We just keep them going."

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