Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme — the Jamaican bobsled team is back for the first time in over 20 years for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
While Jamaica has competed in the two-person bobsled race for many past Olympic Games, their last four-man qualification was in 1998. The 1988 team, Jamaica's first qualifying team, inspired the iconic film Cool Runnings.
Pilot Shanwayne Stephens will be leading the four-man competition as well as the two-man race this year. This will also be the first time that Jamaica has qualified for three Olympics bobsled events: four-man, two-man, and one-woman monobob (a new event for the Games). Jamaica has also qualified for Alpine skiing for the first time, the competition in which flag-bearer and former DJ Benjamin Alexander will be trying for a medal this year.
The bobsled team took to Twitter to share their excitement for the first day of the Games, posting a delightful dancing video of themselves.
“We're the fire and ice, because we are from a tropical island with sunny temperatures, so we're going to the Olympics to melt the place!" brakeman Nimroy Turgott said last week.
Hosted in Beijing, the Olympics Games come just six months after the postponed 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. Many things have changed — the Olympic Village rooms have gotten much swankier compared to the viral “cardboard beds” of 2021, the hot Tongan flag-bearer of last Olympics will not be appearing this year, and the subdued opening ceremony today set the tone for a restrictively celebratory event, as COVID-19 guidelines still remain in effect.
But no news has fans more excited than the return of Team Jamaica, and many on social media shared an outpouring of support for the famous underdog team.
This time around, the beloved team is hoping to become the best Jamaican bobsled team in history by beating the highest placement — 14th place — set by Jamaica in 1994.
“We're more than just a movie," pilot Stephens said. "We want to show we're actually fierce competitors and we're out there to put on a really good performance at the Games."
The schedule for bobsledding begins on Feb. 10, with the medal ceremony for the four-man team on Feb. 20.