Jamaican Women's 'Fire on Ice' Bobsled Team Aims for Olympic Debut 30 Years After 'Cool Runnings' - NBC 6 South Florida
2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games Archive

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Jamaican Women's 'Fire on Ice' Bobsled Team Aims for Olympic Debut 30 Years After 'Cool Runnings'

The team is striving "to make history as the first Winter Olympic women’s team for Team Jamaica and looking to bring home the first Winter Olympic medal for the women's team"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jamaican Women's 'Fire on Ice' Bobsled Team Aims for Olympic Debut 30 Years After 'Cool Runnings'
    Jamaica Women Bob Sleigh Team
    The first week of training for the Jamaican women's bobsled team for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

    It's been 30 nearly years since the Jamaican men's bobsled team first stepped onto the track at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, inspiring viewers so much that their improbable story was turned into the movie "Cool Runnings."

    Now it could be the Jamaican women's turn to make bobsled history, with the team busy training for qualifying in hopes of making their first-ever Olympic appearance in 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

    In January, the women were on the verge of falling apart, despite being able to compete in Olympic qualifying events, with no coach and dwindling finances. But with some will and luck, the team found financing and a resourceful coach in experienced bobsled manager Jo Manning, allowing them to begin competing.

    "Our team is filled with experienced, world-class, elite athletes. Although my brakewomen may have limited experience in bobsleigh, [they] are some of the most elite with training, physical ability and mental toughness," team pilot Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian said in an email to NBC, adding that their "unruly work ethic" is one of several characteristics that's helping them.

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    The team has been training in Pyeongchang since March, giving themselves the name, "Gold Squad: Fire on Ice," according to team media coordinator Kathleen Pulito.

    The team is striving "to make history as the first Winter Olympic women’s team for Team Jamaica and looking to bring home the first Winter Olympic medal for the women's team!" Pulito said in an email.

    The team has World Cup competitions coming up in November, Pulito said. Qualification ends in January.

    Fenlator-Victorian, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Jamaica, competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics for the U.S. She began her athletic career in track and field before transferring over to bobsled in 2007, where she started as a brakewoman.

    Bobsled athletes often come from the world of track and field, since a strong sprint out of the gate can determine a bobsled's success or failure. Fenlator-Victorian will be joined by track and field stars-turned-brakewomen Carrie Russell and Audra Segree on the team.

    The Jamaican men's bobsled team did not qualify to compete for Pyeongchang. The country's two-man team had a last-place finish at the Sochi Games in 2014.

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    Fenlator-Victorian was introduced to bobsled by her collegiate track and field coach, Rob Pasquariello at Rider University in New Jersey. After some convincing and research, her coach submitted her information to the U.S. national team and they invited her to a rookie try-out camp.

    "The rest is history and I fell in love with the sport," she said. "Being able to also now compete for Jamaica and represent the other side of my culture and heritage is truly an amazing feeling."

    The team pilot said their daily routine consists of physical training, video reviews, meals and recovery.

    Russell and Fenlator-Victorian have visited South Korea before, but Segree, who joined the team this year, was in South Korea for the first time.

    "Sharing that with my teammates has been an incredible opportunity as I think we all grow and better ourselves, our bond and our movement," Segree said.

    Fenlator-Victorian said she hoped to represent Jamaica with pride and be able to showcase their progress in Jamaica, especially on the 30th anniversary of the men's team's debut: "My hope is to break barriers that once were -- so the future can climb high!"