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Jamaicans stop Sochi donations

Saturday, February 08, 2014

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia - Jamaica's Olympic bobsleigh team yesterday pleaded with their adoring fans to stop sending money to fund their Sochi fairytale while also dreaming of converting Usain Bolt from sprint to snow.

Pilot Winston Watts admitted that the Internet campaign to fund their trip had been such a success that he and brakeman Marvin Dixon feared they would be damned as greedy opportunists if they didn't call a halt.

"The donations were just coming on and on. We had to stop them. We've called a press conference to do it," said Watts after almost $80,000 poured into the empty Jamaica coffers.

"We just didn't want them to think that we're greedy people."

Watts said that despite being the Games underdogs, his country had the world's fastest guy and he was dreaming of having Bolt on his team some day in the future.

"We are underdogs here," he said. "But we (Jamaicans) have the fastest guy in the world -- Usain Bolt.

"He (Bolt) is with us all the time, he's standing behind us just like the rest of the world is standing behind us. He could be a very good pusher but there's one thing about him -- he doesn't like cold.

"But he said once — maybe next time I'll try myself as a Jamaican bobsleigh team member. And it would be awesome to have him on my team. It would be a terrific combination of a strong guy like me and the fast guy like him."

Watts and Dixon finally got on the bobsleigh track on Thursday after being reunited with their lost luggage that had kept them idle since their arrival.

Other bobsleigh teams in Sochi said the presence of the Jamaicans could only be good for the sport.

"I know those guys, they did work hard and it's not easy to qualify for the Games. I mean they tried in 2006 and they missed, they tried in 2010 and they missed. They tried again and they made it and it is good (for the sport) to have that exposure," said US competitor Steven Holcomb.

"They have a great story and I know those guys and they are great guys," he added.

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