The Jamaican 2-man bobsled team has qualified for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. We speak with Devon Harris, a former Jamaican Bobsledder and one of the original members of Jamaica’s first bobsled team. He is currently a liaison to the current team.
Q: Congrats to the Jamaican 2-man bobsled team. What can we do to support the current team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the continued development of future teams??
We’ve had an overwhelming show of support from the diaspora and or friends and well-wishers around the world, so much so that in a short 48 hrs we hit the target for our fundraising campaigns. We still have some longer term needs and we trust that those fans who still feel inspired to help the team will make a donation on our site-www.jamaicabobsleighteam.com
Q: Jamaica has no snow so, when and where does the team practice?
Bobsledding is really a sport of 2 seasons. In the summer, we train in Jamaica-running, lifting weights and practicing our starts. In the Winter, like every other team in the world we travel to the various tracks. Due to budgetary constraints, our travelling has been restricted to North America—Lake Placid, NY; Park City, UT and Calgary, Canada
Q: As a former member of the original Jamaican Bobsled team what does it mean to you seeing this team qualify for the 2014 Sochi Olympics?
It is really exciting to the see Jamaica back on the Olympic stage. Our last showing was in 2002. That’s much too long to have a team not qualified for the Games. I think having a team back is the push start the program needs to develop athletes who could become medal contenders in the not too distant future.
Q: Can you tell us how important is it to continue Jamaica’s legacy of having a bobsled team in the Olympics?
It is important on a number of different levels. Firstly it speaks volumes about who we are as a people-a nation with a “can-do” attitude who sees no challenge beyond our ability to overcome. Secondly, it showcases Jamaica’s athletic prowess.Thirdly and perhaps more importantly, at the core of our legacy is the belief that as individuals and as a nation, we can go pursue our impossible dreams. This is the thing more than anything else that I believe endears the team to so many people around the world.
Q: As a liaison to the team I can imagine how busy you have been. How is the team feeling after hearing the announcement?
The team is in exceedingly high spirit. The last two years has been an uphill push so as one can imagine they can hardly wait to march in that opening ceremony waving the black, green and gold and then to take to the slopes to give of their best