SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Just like in the film ‘Cool Runnings’, Jamaica’s bobsleigh team are going to have to rely on their opponents’ goodwill to get them down the run after their luggage and equipment were lost en route to Russia.
Winston Watts, the driver of Jamaica’s two-man team in Russia, said precious blades bought with money he and the federation earned through heavy fundraising had not made the journey to Sochi from America.
“Maybe it was left in New York. It was bad weather there and we missed our flight to Moscow,” the 46-year-old told reporters after he was forced to miss training on Wednesday.
“What I am wearing now is what I have.”
Watts said the Jamaican team chef de mission was working to get the missing items to the Black Sea Resort ahead of the Games, which start on Friday.
Watts, who competed at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, took little solace that they had plenty of time before the two-man competition starts on February 16 and said favors would have to be called in.
“We have a back-up plan, a lot of guys wanted to help us, and we may race on borrowed blades,” he said.
“It is a tough way to start.”
The loaning of equipment is reminiscent of the 1993 hit film Cool Runnings starring John Candy based on the exploits of Jamaica’s four-man team which competed at the 1988 Calgary Games.
In the film, Candy borrows a practice sled in Canada days before the start of competition in order for the team to compete.
Webb attempted to downplay the significance of the lost training time.
“It is how the brain works and about being able to adapt fast. Maybe these guys do more runs than you, but you adapt quicker.”
Reporting by Patrick Johnston, editing by Ed Osmond