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By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer
When we think of Jamaica, images of pristine beaches, reggae music, and sprinting legends like Usain Bolt often come to mind. However, beyond our sun-soaked shores and track events, there is a group of extraordinary Jamaican athletes breaking barriers and defying expectations in a different arena altogether—the world of winter sports. From bobsledding to skiing, these determined individuals have shown that Jamaica's athletic prowess extends far beyond the realm of summer games.
Here are some Jamaican athletes who compete in winter sports:
Born on August 29, 1985, Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian is an American-Jamaican bobsledder who competed for the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi before choosing to represent her father's country of Jamaica starting in 2016. She competed on the track and field team at Rider University, where she focused on the shot put, discus, and hammer events. When Fenlator left Rider in 2007, her track coach advised her to attend a bobsled camp. After working as a brakeman for a while, Fenlator made the decision to go into the driver's seat. She won two World Cup medals before the end of her third season as a pilot—a silver in Lake Placid, New York, and a bronze in Igls, Austria.
Born on May 8th, 1983, Benjamin is a British-Jamaican former DJ who is the first alpine skier to represent Jamaica in the Olympics. Alexander was elected to represent Jamaica in international skiing at the 2018 Winter Olympics and only started pursuing skiing professionally at the end of 2019. Alexander competed in his first official race on January 9, 2020, and on January 13, 2022, he earned a spot in the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Downhill skier Errol Kerr was born in Jamaica on April 12, 1986, to a Jamaican father and an American mother. Kerr made his World Cup debut in Les Contamines in January 2008 with a 12th-place result. He followed that up in March by placing seventh in Meiringen-Hasliberg. He began the 2008–09 season by placing fifteenth at Lake Placid and thirty-first at St. Johann in Tirol. He placed tenth overall at the 2009 Skicross World Championships held in Japan. He represented Jamaica at the Winter Olympics in 2010 and finished ninth overall. A Caribbean athlete's best result at the Winter Olympics is this one.
Dudley 'Tal' Stokes, a Jamaican bobsledder and coach, was born on June 22, 1962. He was a founding member of the legendary Jamaican bobsled team, which won gold at the 1988 Winter Olympics and was later immortalized in the film Cool Runnings. Between 1988 and 1994, Dudley transitioned from being a comedian to a competitor who went from being disqualified from the Calgary Olympics to coming in first place overall.
Carrie Russell, a Jamaican sprinter and bobsledder, was born on October 18, 1990. Hailing from the parish of St. Thomas she attended the St. Thomas Technical High School. She won the bronze medal in athletics at the 2006 World Junior Championships and at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics, she took part in the 4x100-meter relay competition and won a gold medal. Russell has also participated in bobsleigh competitions for Jamaica since the 2016–17 season, in addition to her sporting career. She was a member of the Jamaican bobsleigh team that qualified in January 2018 for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, marking the first time a women's team from Jamaica participated in the Winter Games.
Born in 1964, Devon Harris is a former military officer and bobsledder. He was an original member of the Jamaican national bobsled team, which made its Olympic debut in Calgary in 1988. In honour of the illustrious football star, Harris earned the moniker "Pele" and went on to compete in the 1992 and 1998 Winter Olympics.
Williams decided he wanted to start professional skiing when he was 43 and had already established a family in Germany. The Jamaican Ski Team provides funding for Williams, sometimes known as "Jamaica Mike". He took part in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Born on October 26, 1967, Ricky McIntosh is a Jamaican bobsledder. He participated in the four-man and two-man disciplines at the 1992 Winter Olympics.
Born on November 5, 1964, Michael White is a Jamaican bobsledder. He took part in the Winter Olympic Games in 1988 and 1992.
Jamaica's athletes have long been celebrated for their achievements in summer sports, but our foray into winter sports has opened up new horizons and showcased our remarkable talent and determination. Whether it be bobsledding or skiing, these athletes continue to push the boundaries and inspire others around the world. Through their courage and perseverance, they remind us that true champions emerge from every corner of the globe, transcending traditional expectations and embodying the Olympic spirit of friendship, solidarity, and excellence.
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