Jamaica seek cash to fund 'Cool Runnings 2'
PARIS - Jamaica's bobsleigh team are on the verge of making the Sochi Olympics, but admitted they may need $80,000 (59,000 euros) to fund a dream that once inspired a Hollywood movie.
The sun-kissed Caribbean country, where average temperatures hit a sultry 28 degrees, hope to have their two-man bob confirmed in the Winter Olympics line-up on Monday by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF).
But even if they get the go-ahead to follow in the footsteps of the Jamaica four-man team which famously shivered through the 1988 Games in Calgary before inspiring the movie "Cool Runnings", they need fans to dig deep into their pockets.
"Be a part of this excitement by making your contribution as we try to reach our goal and ultimately gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia," said a team statement.
"Help our team raise $80,000 to compete in what is promised to be an historic event. We are taking any donation amount $1 and up... every mickle make a muckle (every penny counts)."
Their appeal was echoed on the Team Jamaica Twitter site, @JamaicaOlympics.
"We are please to announce that we are managing the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team Crowdtilt account. We have raised over $10,400 USD for the team. Go to crowd.tc/GetToSochi14 to make a donation," said a team tweet late Sunday.
Team pilot Winston Watts told the BBC that he was hopeful the IBSF would include Jamaica in the 32-team competition at the February 7-23 Olympics.
"I'm pretty confident," said 46-year-old Watts, who is supported in the team by brakeman Marvin Dixon.
"Both of my phones have been going off constantly."
Watts claims he has ploughed around $150,000 of his own money into the team and that financial constraints prevented them from flying to Europe this weekend to take part in the final qualifying races.
"It's not been cheap," said Watts, who took part in the team's last Olympic participation in 2002.
"If we had been able to go over to Switzerland for the final qualification races, or some of the earlier ones, I'm convinced we would have confirmed this a lot sooner."
He added: "We need about $40,000 for travel and also to buy new runners for the sled because we can't go to an Olympics with only one set.
"Not having a team in the Olympics for so many years is sad. Qualifying would mean so much to Jamaica and it would be making history again."
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