Winter Olympics 2018: Red Stripe buys sled for Jamaican bobsledders


Jamaica's women bobsledders are in buoyant mood after a generous gesture from Red Stripe ensured they will make their Winter Olympic debut in a sleigh owned by the team.

Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell are set to become the first female bobsledders from Jamaica to compete at the Games, 30 years on from the famous debut of their male compatriots, but hit the headlines earlier this week when their coach resigned.

While Jamaica Bobsleigh insist the duo's participation in Pyeongchang was never in jeopardy, despite reports to the contrary, Fenlator-Victorian and Russell were due to use a rented sled before a surprise offer from Red Stripe.

The beer brand offered to purchase the sled the team were renting, at a cost of approximately EUR40,000, providing a huge boost to the Jamaican team ahead of next week's heats at the Olympic Sliding Centre.

Team spokesperson Kathleen Pulito told Omnisport: "Our bobsled was never in jeopardy, we just had to re-sign a different rental agreement [following the departure of their coach].

"But Red Stripe reached out and said they would buy us the sled and it just completely caught us by surprise.

"For Jamaica Bobsled to own its very own bobsled for the very first time is just absolutely incredible.

"If you could see the look on these girls' faces ... you can just imagine having to rent a bobsled all season, or work with different companies all season, but now to have our very own bobsled, we get to say what we do with it, where it goes, what stickers to put on it. It's just given us such a confidence boost.

"They [Red Stripe] have done such a wonderful thing and it's done wonderful things for our team and its sense of pride. I just know, come race day, they're going to be better than ever."

Fenlator-Victorian and Russell participated in training on Saturday, with the official competition beginning on Tuesday.