The Jamaican bobsled team was back in Calgary, nearly 29 years after its Winter Olympic debut there, but this time it was stranded on the side of the road on Saturday.
The Jamaican team’s van broke down en route to its second competition of the season at the 1988 Olympic track.
Two new members of the team who had never left Jamaica prior to this adventure drove the now-dead van all the way from New York City before its inglorious ending on a busy city roadway.
A stranger stopped to help, transporting members of the 12-person team from the side of the road to the venue not once but twice, according to Canadian media.
It was that Calgary track where a Jamaican four-man team finished last at the 1988 Winter Games after crashing, a story made famous again in the 1993 film “Cool Runnings.”
Jamaica’s bobsled team continues to operate with financial struggles, which were well documented ahead of its return to the Olympics in Sochi two years ago.
There are multiple crowd-funding websites set up to help the team compete this season as it hopes to build race experience to help qualify men’s and women’s sleds for Pyeongchang next season. There has never been a Jamaican Olympic women’s bobsled team.
The three Jamaican two-man sleds were the slowest in the field in two lower-level North American Cup races in Calgary on Friday and Saturday, with the van breakdown in between.
U.S. Olympian Jazmine Fenlator, who has switched to competing for Jamaica, crashed in her one race and did not take a second run.
The next North American Cup is in Whistler, B.C., a 10-hour drive west of Calgary, next week.
The Jamaicans are en route, thanks to the Calgary rental service Driving Force giving them a working van as well as $2,500 for gas and food, according to Canadian media.Follow @nzaccardi
After only 4 days on the ice, @_carrie_russell competed in her first race. I'm am so incredibly excited to be teamed up with such an amazing human being and talented athlete. Thus is only the beginning of our story and the history we are making! Unfortunately after a smooth 7 corners, we crashed. Although we crossed the finish line and we're eligible to continue competing in the race. We have decided to recover, take care of our sled and get ready for the next race in Whistler, Canada. #toughchicks #jambob @jambobsled #TeamJamaica @shitamachibobsleigh_ota_tokyo #BlackGreenGold #race #fast #crash #speed #track #pilot #brakeman #team #history #buildingalegacy #sport #support #fireonice