Jamaica Has a Bobsled Team

Many people laughed at the thought of a country like Jamaica ever entering a bobsled team into the Winter Olympics. The Jamaican bobsled team’s debut at the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988 is still regarded as one of the most important momentsat the Winter Olympics for many. The Jamaican team promoted bobsledding solidarity across the world.

The thought of a sunny beach country like Jamaica entering a bobsled competition was humorous for many However, the Jamaican team were admired for their dedication and drive resulting in publicity and even a movie about the debutante team.

The team, consisted of Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Michael White, Freddy Powell, and replacement Chris Stokes. The team was coached by Howard Siler, who was an Olympic bobsledder for the United States in 1972 and 1980. The team had very little experience and even had to borrow sled parts from other teams to compete. The team quickly gained support for their efforts and despite crashing and not finishing In the 1988 games.

The Jamaican team set a precedent for the sport in the country and were opened up other countries to a sport dominated by mostly Northern European countries.