• Winter Olympics

Jamaican bobsleigh team promise 2018 return

ESPN staff
February 17, 2014
Pilot Winston Watts saluted the crowd for their support in the finish area © Getty Images

The Jamaican bobsleigh team have vowed to return to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after missing out on the two-man final in Sochi.

Russia secured their first ever bobsleigh gold as Great Britain also failed to make it to the fourth and final run. Team GB duo John Baines and Lamin Deen enjoyed their best run of the competition (57.38) to finish 3.83 seconds back in 23rd, with only the top 20 teams contesting the fourth heat.

Russia sealed victory with a final run of 56.49 to finish with a total time of 3:45.39. Switzerland ended up 0.66 seconds back to claim silver, and the United States finished 0.88 seconds off the pace to secure bronze.

The real Cool Runnings

The Jamaican bobsled team became cult heroes around the world © Getty Images
  • The tale of the Jamaica bobsled team who triumphed against the odds at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics is embedded in pop culture more than 25 years on. ESPN's Nick Atkin chats to two vital members of that famous team.
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Jamaica pilot Winston Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon finished in a time of 58.17 in the third heat, their best run overall, to leave them last in 29th, 6.50 seconds off the lead.

The original team's story of beating the odds to qualify for the 1988 Calgary Games inspired the hit film Cool Runnings. While the Jamaicans only just returned to Olympic competition after a 12-year absence, they are now promising the wait for their next one will be much shorter.

Dixon said: "I'm telling you now, we will be at the next Olympics in 2018. I truly believe that."

Watts, 46, said Jamaica intend to compete in both the two-man and four-man events at the next Games, and even send a women's team to South Korea.

But while Watts was disappointed the team could not finish higher, he thanked the fans for their huge show of support.

"We didn't achieve what we wanted to, but we lit up the Games and I'm pleased with how the crowds have supported us here in Sochi," said Watts.

For Britain, Deen and Baines were only put together as a pair last week following Craig Pickering's withdrawal through injury.

"It hasn't been easy as we haven't had much time to prepare, but I felt we were getting better each round," Deen told BBC Sport.

"We've had an extra nine runs on the track though and that will really help us come the four-man event."

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