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Jamaica’s 4-man bobsled team makes Olympics for 1st time in over 20 years

The Jamaican four-man bobsled team in action at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games held on February 25, 1988 in Calgary, Canada. (Photo by David Yarrow/Getty Images). David Yarrow / Getty Images

You might want to reacquaint yourself with bobsled chants, because for the first time in 24 years Jamaica’s four-person bobsled team has qualified for a spot on the Olympic roster.

The last time they qualified was at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.

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Team Jamaica announced Monday that they have qualified for the four-man bobsled and two other bobsled events at the Beijing Olympic Games, which begin on Feb. 4.

Jamaica made history, and inspired the 1993 feel-good Disney movie Cool Runnings, when the island nation fielded a four-man bobsled team at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

It was the Caribbean country’s first Winter games, but hardly their last. In the years since, Jamaica has appeared at every Winter Olympics outside the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy.

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Skiier Benjamin Alexander made history this year by becoming the first Jamaican to qualify for the Olympics in the giant slalom event.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the bobsled team to get creative with their training regimes after gyms were locked down in Britain, where the team trains.

Shanwayne Stephens, an expected member of the team, told Reuters he and his teammates resorted to pushing Mini Coopers down the road to replicate the pushing required in bobsledding.

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Bobsled events will run from February 13 to 20, with Jamaica competing first in the women’s monobob event.

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