PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AFP) — Thirty years after the Jamaican men’s bobsleigh team took the world by storm at the 1988 Calgary Olympics, it was the turn of a hardy trio of women from the tiny Caribbean island to launch themselves down an icy chute at breakneck speeds at the Pyeonchang Games.
“Cool Runnings” the re-run ended yesterday with Jamaica finishing 19th as they became the first women from their country to compete at the Winter Olympics.
“The brakes broke, actually, so that didn’t help on the way down,” revealed driver Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian.
“It wasn’t necessarily the result we were looking for, but we’re pretty persevering and resilient for a small island and we hope more of our islanders come out for winter sports,” she said.
Another pioneering set of women, Nigeria’s team finished with the wooden spoon yesterday, but left with their heads held high after an emotional Olympic debut in the crackpot winter pursuit.
The plucky West Africans finished 20th in Pyeongchang, more than seven seconds behind gold medallists Germany in a sport where success and failure are measured in hundredths of a second.
But try telling that to Nigerian driver Seun Adigun and partner Ngozi Onwumere after a landmark appearance, cheered on by their families and a vocal pocket of Nigerian fans.