For the Jamaican bobsled team, just making it to the Olympic games is a triumph.
That was true again in Sochi, as Winston Watts came out of retirement to lead a two-man team at the 2014 Winter Games. The team may have finished near the bottom of the standings but was, as always, a crowd favorite.
And, as in years past, the 2014 team needed some help to fund its efforts. Among those that stepped in when the team needed money for Sochi was Samsung, which is already a big Olympic sponsor.
“Samsung’s valuable support to the Jamaican bobsleigh team last year, when we had no other support, gave us the opportunity to compete in the races we needed to qualify,” Jamaican Bobsleigh Federation president Chris Stokes said in a statement last month. Stokes was part of the original 1988 Jamaican Bobsled team immortalized in the film “Cool Runnings.”
In addition to overcoming the financing issues, Watts and teammate Marvin Dixon had to deal with an airline losing their gear just to get their chance to compete in Sochi. They missed out on a day of training, but eventually their equipment arrived and the team was able to compete in the two-man event.
That same two-man bobsled event is where the U.S. team, led by techie Steven Holcomb, won its first medal in 62 years, finishing third.
Samsung helped the Jamaican team make “Keep on Pushing,” a short film documenting their effort. The video features a cameo from Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.