The word from the Jamaican camp at the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, is that the team is united, coaches are in place and there will be no equipment change.
The positive outlook comes in response to reports that the team’s driving coach, Sandra Kiriasis, quit the post today and could take with her the sled that Jamaica’s women will be using to compete when competition begins on February 20.
Kyritsis, the 2006 Olympic champion, left the team after reportedly being asked to change roles. There was also a reported dispute over who owns the sled that the women would be using. The BBC reported on Wednesday that the sled belonged to Kyritsis and that her departure would mean that the team would be without a sled.
But according to word from the camp, Kyritsis does not own the sled and there will be no equipment change for the ladies who begin practice sessions on Saturday.
“The team is united, our high-performance director and coach are well in place, we have sleds,” Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation President Chris Stokes told SportsMax.TV Wednesday evening.
Stokes had come out swinging earlier in the day when he told the UK Guardian that Kyritsis was a disruptive force within the team set up.
“The lady was a hugely destructive force on the team. Now that she is off the team, synergy is much better, tension is down and athletes are now able to focus in a much healthier environment,” Stokes told Reuters.
“We have our high-performance director Jo Manning and coach Dudley Stokes, who have been with the team all season and who have been the ones driving performance, so frankly things have only improved with her departure.
“If you come on the team you have to be a team player. There are no gods and goddesses here.”
For her part, Kyritsis said she was disappointed with the outcome.
“I have never known such disappointment in this sport, in my life,” Kyritsis was reported as saying. “The athletes have told me they don’t understand why this has happened as they have no problem with me and we have a good relationship.”