Jamaican team "cool" running at Sochi Olympics

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 6, 2014 at 5:29 am •  Published: February 6, 2014
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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Everything's cool and running with Jamaica's bobsled team.

They're back inside the Olympic rings, and back on the track.

After their equipment was delayed in arriving to the Sochi Games, driver Winston Watts and his teammates got in their first two runs down the Sanki Sliding Center track on Thursday. The Jamaicans, who qualified for the first time since 2002, couldn't train Wednesday because they arrived ahead of their luggage, which was on a later flight to Russia.

Without their clothing, sliding suits, helmets or the expensive runners for their two-man sled, the Jamaicans couldn't do anything but watch on their first day at the Olympic venue.

Watts said the team got its gear around midnight, enabling them to take part in the second day of "unofficial" training. It wasn't until the Jamaicans got to the track that they realized their belongings had been tampered with. Watts said security opened containers of protein powder and the contents spilled out on his clothes and equipment.

He even got powder in his eyes after putting on his helmet.

"Security went through them. I don't know who, but the lids were open," he said. "I didn't look at my bags last night and all of the stuff was all over my stuff. Protein. They take the seal off and open. They may think there was something else in there."

Not even the transit delay could dampen Watts' enthusiasm in making it to his second Olympics — he shrugged it off in Jamaican style.

"We are from the sunshine," he said, flashing his megawatt smile.

The Jamaicans didn't race on the World Cup circuit this season, but they qualified for these games by accumulating enough points in lower-tier races in North America.

Qualifying was one thing, but the Jamaicans weren't sure they were going to be able to make the trip because they didn't have enough to cover the travel expenses as well as purchase additional sets of runners.

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