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2014 Winter Olympics

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Jamaican bobsled team: 'Cool Runnings' 2 hopes as they raise cash for Olympics

The Jamaican bobsled team hopes to compete once again on the Olympic stage at the Sochi Games, but they need cash to make it there.
The Jamaican bobsled team hopes to compete once again on the Olympic stage at the Sochi Games, but they need cash to make it there.

The Jamaican bobsled team may just be headed to another Olympics. The hitch is they need a lot of money, and they need it fast. Olympic organizers announced Saturday that Jamaica has qualified for the two-man competition at next month's Sochi Games, though it's unclear if the Jamaican squad will get a chance to race. The prospect of a Jamaican bobsled team has people remembering the 1993 movie "Cool Runnings", that told the story of another Jamaican squad's struggle to compete in the Olympics.

Funding is a serious concern as sled driver Winston Watts told The AP Saturday that he's trying to raise about $80,000 over the next couple of weeks in order to cover travel and equipment costs, according to CBS News on Jan. 19.

Watts said this weekend that they're starting at zero dollars. But he hopes people will rally around himself and brakeman Marvin Dixon to help propel them on to Sochi.

In fact they have, USA Today reports that as of Monday morning, an online campaign on internet fundraising site has raised more than $18,000 for the team's goal to get to Russia.

The crowd funding effort was said to have been started by a random fan who fell in love with the Jamaican's story from "Cool Runnings".

Watts, 46, has considered himself retired from the sport for nearly a decade, has never lost hope though of sliding again on the sport's biggest stage.

Jamaica's first foray into Olympic bobsledding occurred back in 1988 at the Calgary Games, a famed story that inspired the "Cool Runnings" film.

Being an island nation lacking a wintry climate poses special challenges, but that hasn't stopped the small country from faring well on the international bobsled circuit.

Jamaica hasn't had a sled in the Olympics for 12 years. That's since Watts finished 28th at the Salt Lake City Games with Lascelles Brown, who's now a key part of Canada's national team.

The Jamaicans were hoping to compete in the 2010 Vancouver Games, but were stopped in their tracks due to lack of funding.

Watts first hoped to put together a four-man team for Sochi, but soon realized that would be too expensive. So he's now pinning his hopes on his two-man effort.

Sochi officials tweeted Saturday that the Jamaicans were in, but the sport's governing body, the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation, still must confirm how many nations qualified for the Olympic fields.

But Watts is confident his Jamaican team is qualified, saying, "I'm not a person who likes to quit", adding, "I put my heart into it and I know for a fact that people are going to help this team."

Aside from the Crowdtilt site, the Jamaican Bobsleigh Federation set up its own fundraising effort on, where they've raised nearly $6,500 so far.

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