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Beloved bobsled Jamaican team missing sliding gear

Beloved bobsled Jamaican team missing sliding gear

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Feb 5, 2014

The beloved bobsled team from Jamaica has encountered another setback as the team's luggage, including sliding gear and sled blades, was lost en-route to Sochi.

"The sled is here, but our blades that go on the sled aren't and neither is the clothing that we wear when we slide," driver Winston Watts, 46, tells the BBC. "We have just got all the funding together and have arrived at the Olympics -- but then this happens."

Two-man competitors Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon, 28, left training at Lake Placid, N.Y., on Feb. 3 to make a connecting flight from John F. Kennedy airport to Moscow. Their flight, however, got rerouted to Philadelphia to refuel due to landing issues in the wintry weather. A day later, they arrived in Sochi after missing their original connection.

Watts and Dixon believe their belongings remain in New York.

After raising an astronomical $120,000 in crowdfunding support online, the two men just want to complete. Watts stepped out of a decade long retirement to slide into the Sochi Olympics, as Jamaica's last appearance in the sport was in 2002.  

"This is a very new track for everyone and I'm not really happy about missing today," Watts told the BBC after missing the first day of practice. "We will have maybe three more sessions - six runs in total and I'm confident we will take part in those because we have a lot of friends here and I'm sure people will lend us what we need."

Will the Jamaican team need help again? The two-man bobsled competition begins Feb. 16.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Julianne Cassidy is a newly Nashville-based entertainment journalist from Philadelphia.