The Jamaican Four-Man Bobsled Team Heads to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing


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The snow-free country of Jamaica will be going to this year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. For the first time in over two decades, the Jamaican bobsled team will be making its return to the event and will also send athletes in the four-man, two-man bob, and the women’s monobob—marking the first time in Olympic History that Jamaica has qualified in three bobsled events.

The four-man bobsled team made it into the top 28 places and qualified for the 2022 Winter Olympics after their last appearance at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. They would have qualified for four of the Olympic Winter Games sports events, but barely missed out on a chance to secure a spot in the two-woman bobsled event thanks to a tiebreak.

It is expected that Shanwayne Stephens will pilot the sled, while Rolando Reid, Ashley Watson, and Matthew Wekpe are to join as push sledders. Despite the team's absence from recent Games, driver Stephens was not surprised that his team will be returning to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work the last four years to achieve what we’ve achieved,” he said. “Over the lockdown we’ve even come up with our own ways of getting the training done because we didn’t want to leave any stone unturned when it came to qualifying for the Games. So we can now look back and say, ‘Look, we’ve done everything that we could have done to achieve our goal, and we’ve achieved it.’”

Back in 2020, during the early days of the pandemic, Stephens earned some attention after he was spotted with Nimroy Turgott pushing a Mini Cooper down the city streets of England to keep up with their training. Their training gyms were closed due to COVID-19 and they needed to find a way to replicate the pushing involved in their sport.

“We’ve had people run over, thinking the car’s broken down, trying to help us bump-start the car. When we tell them we’re the Jamaica bobsleigh team, the direction is totally different, and they’re very excited,” shared Stephens. “We’re a tropical country with no snow, no proper training facility to train for winter sport. What we’ve accomplished, it’s really amazing.”

The bobsled competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics begins February 12 and runs through February 19, 2022.


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h/t: [22 Words]

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Claudicet Pena

Claudicet Pena is a Contributing Writer and Project Manager for My Modern Met. In 2005, she attended the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University where she studied Business and Marketing. Later in her career, she found herself teaching yoga and meditation full-time, earning the title “Best Yoga Teacher 2016” by Best Self Atlanta Magazine. Claudicet is currently based in Boston, combining her passions for art, writing, and business development. As a creative at heart, she devotes time to her own outlets of yoga, meditation, writing, drawing, and painting. Claudicet also shares her love of arts & culture with her daughter as they explore the city and travel abroad. Explore along with them on Instagram: @claudipena.
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