Winston Watts

Jamaica Bobsled given $120,000 over 2 days, shuts down crowd funding

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Jamaica Bobsled pleaded for $80,000. It received more than $120,000 in two days, enough to move forward with its plans not only to compete in the Sochi Olympics, but also grow the sport on the island nation.

Financial goals were met, and crowd funding was stopped Tuesday, officials said.

The Jamaica Olympic Association and Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee will cover their costs to, from and during the Games in February.

The $120,000-plus will go to pay outstanding expenses from the current bobsled season, cover costs associated with a pre-Olympic training camp in the U.S. and to purchase better equipment for Sochi.

“On behalf of the team we are very happy with the contributions, donations that companies and fans out there contributed to us,” Jamaica bobsled driver Winston Watts said. “This helps us to exceed and get the equipment that we really need over in Sochi so that we can be more competitive along with the rest of the world.”

Jamaica Bobsled general secretary Chris Stokes, a member of the “Cool Runnings” 1988 Olympic Team, affirmed the legacy of that team from 26 years ago helped their fundraising efforts.

The donations, from as little as $5 into the thousands, mostly came from the U.S., Canada, western Europe and Australia.

“The truth of the matter is we missed the last two Olympic Games,” Stokes said. “When it became known to the world that we had a chance to qualify for the current one, people in the thousands came out.

“The popularity of the movie is important, but I think most importantly people relate to Jamaica Bobsled and what it means. … They related to their own lives. They asked themslves, ‘What can be my Jamaica Bobsled moment?'”

Watts, 46, will make his fourth Olympic appearance and first since 2002 and feels confident given the public backing.

“They have a trust in us because they know that Jamaica, we have some of the best athletes in the world,” said Watts, who lives in Wyoming and trains in Park City, Utah. “They want to see us dominate this winter sport also. It’s a big trust that they have. That’s why they put so much funding out there to help and support us.”

Jamaican officials plan to thank contributors with an emblem of appreciation.

Watts was one of the final drivers to qualify for the Olympic two-man bobsled field, which can include no more than 30 sleds. Jamaica’s best Olympic bobsled finish since it debuted in 1988 was 14th in the four-man event in 1994, when it beat the top U.S. sled by .01 of a second.

The Olympic two-man event is Feb. 16-17.

As for after Sochi, Stokes said the goal is to field a women’s team, a junior team and to be able to qualify for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

“It’s well known what the Jamaican team is capable of,” Watts said. “That’s why we’re going out there, to show the world that we’re still alive and we can still execute this sport.”

Jamaican Bobsled Team makes rounds at Sundance Film Festival

John Wall in doubt for Olympics after knee procedures

John Wall
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Washington Wizards point guard John Wall underwent procedures on both of his knees, the team announced Thursday, clouding his chance of making the U.S. Olympic team.

Wall is expected to be ready for the start of the 2016-17 NBA season in late October, but the team made no mention of if Wall could progress fast enough to be ready for a potential Olympic debut in Rio in early August.

The U.S. is already without its 2012 Olympic starting point guard, Chris Paul, who withdrew from team consideration in March.

The 12-man Olympic team is expected to be announced in late June.

If Wall is also out, that leaves USA Basketball to choose from this list of point guards among the roster pool finalists:

Mike Conley
Stephen Curry
Kyrie Irving
Damian Lillard

Russell Westbrook — 2012 Olympian

MORE: U.S. men’s basketball pre-Olympic schedule

Lindsey Vonn parties with Vanilla Ice, Tom Brady

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Lindsey Vonn partied with fellow Under Armour sports stars Tom Brady and Jordan Spieth as well as rapper Vanilla Ice on Wednesday.

The company held its 20th anniversary party in Baltimore, where it’s based.

Vonn is living it up in her offseason following another knee injury but is expected to be ready for the start of the 2016-17 season this fall.

MORE: Vonn details ‘excruciating pain’ from season-ending crash

So epic! Thx @vanillaiceofficial!!😎 – If you got a problem, yo-I'll solve it!

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Who is this guy in my snap?!….#tombrady @underarmour

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