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Jamaica Bobsleigh Coach Quits & Plans To Take Sled Home With Her

Jamaica Bobsleigh Coach Quits & Plans To Take Sled Home With Her
By Arthur James O'Dea

Life imitating art imitating a hazy, film-friendly version of life; such was the feeling surrounding Jamaica's participation in the Winter Olympics' Women's Bobsleigh.

Thoughts couldn't but turn to Cool Runnings, a loose 1993 representation of the first Jamaican Bobsleigh team to reach the 1988 Calgary games, when it was announced last month that it was now the turn of Jamaica's female team to make their Olympic bow.

However, with the women's event due to begin early next week, preparation for the Jamaican's maiden run has been thrown into chaos.

Coached by a German former Olympic champion Sandra Kiriasis, the gold-medal winning bobsledder from the 2006 games in Turin has reportedly quit her role in the Jamaican setup.

Contributing further to the disarray is Kiriasis' apparent intention to take the team's sled with her.

Claiming to have been forced out of her role, there is little consensus between a statement released by the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team and Kiriasis' assessment of what is occurring in Pyeongchang.

According to the statement released by the team, they "deeply disappointed in [Kiriasis'] decision to leave the program."


Contrarily, the German coach has claimed that "the athletes have told me they don't understand why this has happened as they have no problem with me and we have a good relationship."

The issue appears to stem from concerns Kiriasis has with her perceived demotion within the setup. Disappointed with the switch in roles that would see her moving from driving coach to track performance analyst, and thus out of contact with the athletes themselves, it is Kiriasis' contention that she is "legally responsible for the sled", and, as such, looks set to put the team's participation in the event next week under serious jeopardy.

Although the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation disputes the claim that the sled itself belongs to Kiriasis, the German has conceded that she has "never known such disappointment in this sport, in my life."


With less than a week remaining until the two-woman team are due to commence, this internal bickering is unlikely to aid their cause in upsetting the odds in the nation's first run at this event.

See Also: British Skater Gives Heartbreaking Interview After Crashing Out In Olympic Final

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