Jamaican bobsleigh star dreams of Usain Bolt onboard

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UNDERDOGS: Watts and Dixon get in practice before the event begins on February 16

RUSSIA’S WINTER Olympics in Sochi have been plagued by bad press, such as the land’s anti-gay laws and the host city’s poor accommodation, however the image of Usain Bolt climbing into a bobsleigh to speed down the slopes would be the stuff of president Vladimir Putin’s dreams – something his roubles probably could not buy.

The chances of the world’s fastest man and Olympic sprinting legend doing so are slim at best or wild fantasy, but that has not deterred Jamaica’s only representatives at the Games from talking about the track icon joining their bobsleigh team.

Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon are the two men who are hoping to create another world-famous outing for the Caribbeans at the Winter Games as their fish-out-of-water story in the bobsleigh has always proved popular ever since the 1993 film Cool Runnings was made.

They are plucky underdogs who only qualified because other teams already had maxed out the number of teams they could enter for the two-man event, and yet the Jamaicans hog the limelight, their presence improbable as competitors who come from a land of sun and sun facing opponents raised in freezing climates.

What more could they do to become even more loved? Mention Bolt, of course.

Watts, who came out of retirement to have one final hurrah at the Winter Games, claimed he would not be losing sleep waiting for the 100m and 200m Olympic champion to call his phone, but he imagined how Bolt could benefit their hunt for bobsleigh glory.

“Usain is a busy guy – he doesn’t have my number. If a text comes in it will be a surprise. I’d love to know that he is behind us”, Watts said at a press conference following a practice run with Dixon.

“He would be a very good pusher but he is not the kind of person who likes cold. He has definitely said that.

“It would be awesome to have him on my team because, you know, a strong guy like me, and Bolt who is very fast… can you imagine… A good combination.”

What a dream team they would be, but Bolt is famous for his dislike of cold environments, and something pretty incredible would have to happen before the sprinter chose the bobsleigh over his other beloved sports such as football and cricket.

On his and Dixon’s chances of medal success in Sochi, Watts spoke optimistically but refrained from elucidating any firm predictions.

He added: “I never tell anyone what I am going to expect here. We come here as the underdogs but we hopefully show the rest of the world what the Jamaica team can do.

“Everyone loves Jamaica. When Jamaica is not around they are not happy because we are a fun-loving caring people. Jamaicans smile all the time, even when they are having a bad day.”

Watts and Dixon may wear even bigger smiles than normal if they manage to pull off a miracle when the two-man event begins on February 16, and if they do manage to claim an improbable gold then perhaps their star could outshine the feats of Bolt.

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