So the two-man bobsled competition finished up the other day in Sochi. The normal competitors were in it and as you expect the same crowd were in top three. This year’s competition held a couple of surprises however. One the Americans winning a medal for the first time in 62 years (USA!), but the more impressive story is that the Jamaicans qualified and made it to Sochi. This team faced much adversity in making it to the games this year for they were short in funds for traveling and shipping their equipment. The first time Jamaican bobsled team made it and participated in the winter games back in 1988 in Calgary. That group of Jamaican sprinters turned bobsleders inspired the ’93 film “Cool Runnings”. They too had their adversity in raising funds to make it and that other teams didn’t take them as serious competitors in the sport. Since then other teams from Jamaica have qualified and participated in the Olympics, The modern day team failed to qualify for both the ’06 Turin and ’10 Vancouver games. In 2014, they made it back to the Olympic spotlight. But much like the inaugural team, the lack of funds to actually travel and partake settled in. They needed to raise 80,000 dollars to cover there expenses in about a month. Thanks to social media and word of mouth, the Jamaicans were able to come up with the money, raising about 100,000 in just a few days. Exceeding their goal in time to travel to the Olympics. Places like facebook and twitter helped spread the word, while other news outlets told the story. Fans pumped in money into a paypal account to support the athletes. Either to see a true underdog take place, supporting an athletes dream, or maybe just old and not sure what’s going on on the internet, their prayers came true and for the first time in twelve years, a Jamaican bobsled team was heading back to the Olympics.
– A scene from Cool Runnings loosely based off the ’88 team.
The power of the internet strikes again, persuading and spreading the word of other people’s story. Social media taking shape and helping the 2 man team head to Sochi. Even though they didn’t make it to the podium, they were still a top story.
– Jamaica making its return after a 12 year hiatus