History makers: Jamaica qualifies three bobsleigh teams for Beijing 2022

It's thrice as nice for Jamaica's bobsleigh team who will race in the four-man, two-man and women’s monobob at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

By Ken Browne
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

Jamaica, you don't have a bobsleigh team, you have three!

Not only will the Jamaican team have a four-man sled at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games for the first time in 24 years, but they'll also compete in the two-man bob and the women's monobob.

It's the first time in Olympic history that Jamaica has qualified for three bobsleigh events.

Four years ago there was disappointment when a Jamaican men’s sled missed qualifying for PyeongChang 2018 by one spot in world rankings, but this time around the four-man seized the final spot in the 28-sled field.

They'll race against perennial powerhouses Germany, Canada, Austria, USA and Switzerland.

And the news might have been even better if the two-woman team had won their tiebreaker, but we may still see four Jamaican sleds compete at the Games if a qualified nation decides to free up a spot.

While the team is yet to be officially announced, Shanwayne Stephens has been piloting the four-man sled with Rolando Reid, Ashley Watson and Matthew Wekpe the push athletes.

US-Jamaican monobob athlete Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian is expected to appear at her second Olympics.

Cool Runnings legacy

Jamaica first competed in bobsleigh at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Games inspiring the iconic 'Cool Runnings' film and generations of athletes to come.

The names Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Michael White, Freddy Powell, and last minute replacement Chris Stokes were made immortal by the film, and Chris Stokes is now the president of Jamaica’s bobsleigh federation.

Since then Jamaica has had at least one men's sled at eight straight Games from 1988 to 2002, also qualifying for Sochi 2014.

Their highest ever finish was 14th at Lillehammer 1994.

Fenlator-Victorian debuted the first female Jamaican sled at PyeongChang 2018, and now she'll be among the 20-sled field in Beijing.

In December 2021 bobsleigh president Stokes was full of praise for Fenlator-Victorian and her bob brake woman Audra Segree.

"Above all else, I am impressed with the character of Jazmine," Stokes said.

"She has had a challenging time since 2018 but has continued to prove herself to be a leader and a performer, a cohesive and inspiring force on our team.

"Her brakewoman, Segree, has been having the best season of her life in terms of her push times and results.

"I am happy to see the fruits of their labour thus far."

Jamaica's two-woman bob may get a spot if another nation gives up one of theirs. Canada and Germany for example, have three, while Austria, China, ROC and the USA have two berths each.

MORE: Olympic bobsleigh at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

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