Your Premier Jamaican Sports Portal
Howard Walker, Staff Reporter
The Jamaica Bobsled Federation's (JBF) one-day trial takes place today at the G.C. Foster College starting at 8:30 a.m.
Dudley Stokes, president of the JBF, told The Gleaner last week his federation is looking to groom athletes for the "next generation" in the winter sport.
"The trial is to select athletes for the next generation of bobsledders. We are going to be training for them to start learning the sport this summer," said Dudley, who along with his brother, Chris, was a member of the trendsetting 1988 team.
The federation will be look for very athletic persons and the trial will be basically a test of strength and speed.
Coach Wayne Thomas said all is set for today's trial.
"Everything is set to go. We want to select a particular group of people to see how competent they will be.
"We are looking for people who can show some speed, strength and flexibility. We are doing 30 and 60- metres sprints. We also have a sledge on wheels and we will be doing horizontal and vertical jumps," Thomas told The Gleaner yesterday.
The sports took off in 1988 with an Olympic appearance followed by the making of the movie Cool Runnings.
That landmark group of competitors has dissolved so Thomas is hoping that enough persons turn up at the trial.
"We are looking for about 30 people to show up. We have invited persons from the army because we have had some good performances from them," said Thomas.
Bobsleigh is a winter sport in which teams make timed runs down a narrow, twisting, banked, iced track in a gravity-powered sled.
Eighteen years ago, the first Jamaican Bobsled team made history by participating in the 1988 Calgary Olympics Winter Games in Canada.
The bobsledders from the tropical island warmed the hearts of many worldwide in their first attempt at Olympic glory and was even immortalised in the popular Walt Disney movie Cool Runnings.
In the first games (1988), the team was seen as a novelty as they had technical difficulties, injuries and crashes.
In the second games (1992) the team had drastically improved. They had practised hard for four years and were confident and focused. The four-man team came in 14th ahead of the United States, French, Russian and Italians teams.
This was just the beginning. In the two-man event, the Jamaican team shocked the world by beating the Swedish national champions on their way to a 10th-place finish.
The team continued to improve and in 2000 took gold at the World Push Championships in Monte Carlo in three events and later posted the fasted start time at the World Cup.