The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says Jamaica’s team to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China “demonstrates that nothing is impossible.”
“‘We don’t have no snow’ yet here we are competing against the world’s best on ice,” said Minister Grange at a news conference to announce the members of Jamaica’s team who have qualified for the games.
Minister Grange said:
“These are the first Olympics in which Jamaica will be represented in three bobsleigh events. In addition to the women’s monobob [a new event at the Olympics], we’ve qualified for the two-man event; and for the first time in 24 years we’re back in the four-man competition.”
There’s the possibility that Jamaica could compete in a fourth bobsleigh event as the two-woman team missed out on a tiebreaker but could still compete as ‘first alternate’ if one of the qualifying nations withdraws.
“So we keep our fingers crossed.”
Minister Grange told the bobsleigh team during a news conference on Tuesday (this morning) that members of Jamaica’s growing winter sports programme were simply inspirational.
Minister Grange said:
“This generation — and others to come — will look up to you and be inspired by you because of your unlikely presence at the Winter Games representing a tropical country and doing well. You are stories of dedication and commitment filled with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Your hard work has already paid off.”
Minister Grange also used the opportunity to highlight Jamaica’s success in skiing.
“For the first time at the Winter Olympics, Jamaica will have a competitor in Alpine Skiing and I want to congratulate Benjamin Alexander on this wonderful achievement for our country.”
Alexander is the second skier to represent Jamaica at the Winter Games following Errol Kerr who finished ninth in the Ski Cross at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
“As you go to Beijing, please know that the entire country is cheering you on; and you can continue to count on the support of the Ministry and the Government of Jamaica,” said Minister Grange.
The Ministry has been supporting Jamaica’s winter sports programme through direct funding and the provision of equipment.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games begin on February 4.