UPDATE (8 p.m. ET): Crisis over for the Jamaican bobsled team, which has managed to get hold of its missing luggage and equipment this evening. The team confirmed the good news on their official Twitter account with the message: “Have no fear, our gear is safe.”
After qualifying for the Sochi Olympics and then having to raise $80,000 just to make the trip, the Jamaican bobsled team arrived in Russia but were unable to begin training today because of the missing items. According to the Associated Press, that luggage included the runners for the country’s two-man sled.
Watts indicated that he would have to borrow equipment from other nations if their gear didn’t arrive soon.
“We have a lot guys who’s going to help us,” he said according to USA Today. “They want to help us.”
Prior to heading for Sochi, the team had been training at their American base in Wyoming and Utah, where they also made a stop at the Sundance Film Festival to promote their run to the Olympics.
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The program, made famous by the 1993 Disney film “Cool Runnings,” had to drum up that aforementioned sum of $80,000 following their qualification in the two-man event. In two days, fans from around the world had thrown in more than $120,000 before crowd funding was stopped.
Sochi will mark the sixth Winter Olympics that has featured the Jamaican bobsled team. The best bobsled finish for the country overall is a 14th-place effort in the four-man at the 1994 Lillehammer Games. In its most recent Olympic appearance, Jamaica placed 28th in the two-man at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
Co-Olympic super-G bronze medalist Jan Hudec was granted a request by Alpine Canada to represent the Czech Republic next season after being left off Canada’s national team.
Hudec, 34, wasn’t eligible for Canada’s national team after racing once in 2015-16 due to the latest of his many knee surgeries, according to Alpine Canada.
“It is important to know that we continued to work with Jan after the team selection was announced, and let him know that we were more then willing to find accommodation that would enable him to return to the team,” Alpine Canada said in a press release. “However, at this stage of Jan’s career, he is making a decision that can best meet his desire to fulfill and lead a different way of life, that reaches beyond ski racing.”
The International Ski Federation must still grant Hudec’s request. Hudec was born in the Czech Republic.
At the Sochi Olympics, Hudec shared bronze with Bode Miller in the super-G. He is also the 2007 World Championships downhill silver medalist and a two-time winner of World Cup races.
The 2016-17 Alpine skiing World Cup season is expected to begin in Soelden, Austria, in late October.
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Estonian sisters Leila, Liina and Lily Luik are set to become what is believed to be the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics, according to Games historians.
The Luiks, identical triplets born Oct. 14, 1985, remain the only Estonian women to meet the Olympic qualifying time for the marathon. And since a nation can send three qualified athletes to the Olympic marathon, all three are in line to go to Rio.
The Estonia athletics federation’s qualifying cutoff is Wednesday. It doesn’t believe any other Estonians will register an Olympic qualifying time by then.
With most marathons taking place on weekends, it appears the Luiks are safe, even though none has run faster than 2:37, and the Olympic medal winners will likely be running in the low-to-mid 2:20s.
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