The Jamaican bobsled team is heading to the Winter Olympics for the first time since 2002, and the help of strangers is one of the top reasons why the two-man sled team of Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon have been able to accomplish that goal. Through an online crowdfunding campaign, the team has raised over $120,000 to help cover equipment costs and travel fees.
When Jamaica first qualified for Sochi, Watts said that he was hoping the Jamaican Olympic Association would step up and help cover the $80,000 travel and equipment costs. The Olympic federation did indeed chip in, but over $120,000 in online donations rolled in anyway.
“It’s so overwhelming that we have so many fans out there,’’ Watts told TODAY.com on Tuesday. “The whole nation has come together and donated the funds to us. This shows us that people still love the Jamaican bobsled team. I just want to give thanks to all of our fans out there.”
As LB mentioned before, we knew the 2014 Jamaican bobsled team could raise a heck of a lot more money than Sanka Coffee did singing on the street. People love the movie “Cool Runnings.” The team reached it’s target goal of $100,000 in a matter of days. They have since stopped donations so that fans don’t think they’re being excessive.
“We don’t want it to go beyond the amount that has been raised because we hit our quota,” Watts said. “We don’t want anyone thinking, ‘Those guys are crooks.’ We want people to have positive thoughts about us from this little tiny island. When next season comes and we start our fundraising, we want people to know these guys are legit.”
The additional money will be used for equipment upgrades and training, so it’s not as if Watts and Dixon are pocketing the money. The team needs multiple sets of runners (or blades) for its sled, which can cost between $15,000 and $20,000 per set. Watts said the set the team used to qualify was almost illegal because it was so outdated.
Needless to say, there were thousands of people who felt the rhythm and felt the rhyme. It’ll be hard not to pull for these guys in Sochi.Google+