'It’s in our blood to overcome adversity' - Fenlator-Victorian believes battling bobsled teams typify Jamaica spirit Featured













Jamaica bobsledder, Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, believes the team’s determination to continue beating the odds is something that is deeply ingrained in the country’s culture.

With a population of just under 3 million, Jamaica is typically listed among the smallest to compete at any Olympic Games.  Making the Winter Olympic Games on a fairly consistent basis, sandwiched in between the resource-rich snowy alpine nations, is another level of achievement entirely.

The 1993 cult classic Cool Runnings, which starred Doug E Doug and the late John Candy, shone a light on the exploits of the 1988 Jamaica Olympic team, which debuted at the Calgary Winter Olympics.  What business did a tiny island from the tropics, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, have careening down the ice at breakneck speed?  Surely it must be a one-off occasion.  Well, think again, the team has gone on to make the Olympics on another six occasions, and come Beijing 2022 will head into the Games having qualified for the most events in its history.  Jamaica will be represented by Alpine skier Alexander Benjamin, bobsledders Shanwayne Stephens Rolando Reid, Ashley Watson, and Matthew Wekpe, in the four-man and two-man events, and Fenlator-Victorian who will take part in the women’s monobob.  It remains a scenario very much against the odds.

“On this team, we are always looking to move forward, even if it’s the smallest step forward.  That’s ingrained in our culture, that’s engrained in the culture of Jamaica,” Fenlator-Victorian told SportsMax.Tv’s InCaseYouMissedIT.

“It’s in our blood to overcome adversity and do the best that we can, with our heads held high and to give our best effort.  With great victories, there will always be struggles.  If you can endure the struggle and keep moving forward at the end of the road there will be opportunity.”

At 36, Fenlator-Victorian will be heading for her second Olympics appearance for Jamaica, and third overall, having been part of the two-woman team, along with Carrie Russell, that debuted for the Caribbean Country at the 2018 Olympics.  Jamaica’s two-woman team narrowly missed out on qualification for the Beijing Games, losing out on the final spot via a tiebreak.  For her part, with retirement on her mind after the Beijing Games, Fenlator-Victorian hopes she has done enough to light a beacon for future generations.

“I’m entering the latter part of my career, to after these Games enter alumni status.  I hope I have created that way for future females to continue the legacy.  To not just be there the first time, but to come back again a second time.  Back-to-back Olympics is a huge feat and I hope we can continue that moving forward."



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Last modified on Sunday, 23 January 2022 13:06
Kwesi Mugisa

Kwesi has been a sports journalist with more than 10-years’ experience in the field. First as a Sports Reporter with The Gleaner in the early 2000s before he made the almost natural transition to becoming an editor. Since then he has led the revamp of The Star’s sports offering, making it a more engaging and forward-thinking component of the most popular tabloid newspaper in the Caribbean.

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