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SBD Global/January 20, 2014/Finance

Jamaican Bobsled Team Qualifies For Sochi Games But Lacks Funding

The Jamaican bobsled team "may be headed to another Olympics," according to the AP. The "catch: it needs a lot of money, and it needs it fast." Olympic organizers said on Saturday that "Jamaica has qualified for the two-man competition at the Sochi Games, though it remains unclear if the fledgling squad will get a chance to race." Funding is a "serious problem" and sled driver Winston Watts said that he is trying to raise as much as $80,000 in the next two weeks to "cover travel and equipment costs." Watts: "Right now, we're at zero" (AP, 1/20). The JAMAICA GLEANER reported Watts said, "We have received some help from the Jamaica Olympic Association and the Jamaica Tourist Board but it's really disappointing because we have not been able to get enough sponsorship out of Jamaica to help our efforts. They are paying more attention to track and field and football and so on, but you have to understand and people have to remember that we also have a bobsled team and we are pretty good at it and with support we can get to the top like the other sports." Watts added that the team is "in need of a new blade for its sled," which costs around $15,000, in "addition to transportation, training and accommodation costs" (JAMAICA GLEANER, 1/19).
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