Jamaica has qualified a two-woman bobsled team for the on February 9 winter games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
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Newbies – world champion sprinter, Carrie Russell and fellow track athlete, Audra Segree – teamed with seasoned pilot American-born Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian to complete the newly qualified bobsled outfit. Fenlator-Victorian earned eligibility through her Jamaica father.
"Pyeongchang will be my second appearance at the Winter Games, but it is just as special as my first," Fenlator-Victorian said. "This time I have the opportunity to represent my other home - Jamaica – and make history as the first female team representing the country in the Winter Olympic Games."
She previously piloted 'Team USA' in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, before joining the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation in 2015.
Russell, a first-time winter Olympian, won a gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the World Athletics Championship in 2013. "This is one of the happiest moments of my life," brake woman, Russell, said. "I never dreamed that I would become a bobsled athlete."
“A leap of faith and a dream come true later I will be representing my country as one of the first women bobsled athletes in the Olympics,” former sprinter and second brake woman, Segree, added. "I am overwhelmed with joy knowing that I have helped make history for my country. I am really grateful for this experience."
The women, who are targeting a 10th-place finish in South Korea, will compete in the games three decades after the male counterparts first took to the track.
"[Thirty] years after Jamaica Bobsled's first Olympic appearance, and after undergoing structural reorganization leading into the Olympic season, this achievement is a testament to the strength of the program and excellence of its athletes," the federation said.
Just under a year ago, the women won a bronze medal at the North American Cup in Lake Placid. They also turned out a respectable seventh-place finish at the Winterberg World Cup, late last year. German Sandra Kiriasis serves ad their coach.
The men's appearance at the 1988 winter games was immortalized in 1993's cult classic, Cool Runnings. The film starred the late John Candy, who was joined by Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis and Malik Yoba.
The Jamaican men's team are currently ranked 31st in qualification, any withdrawal from the 30 available Olympic spots would give them a seventh appearance in the men's two-man event.
A Nigerian women's bobsled team, the first Africans (men or women), also made history by qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics.