Beijing Winter Olympics: Jamaican bobsleigh team given green light to fly to Games after passes retrieved from Stansted Airport

·2-min read

Delays in retrieving the Olympic passes for Jamaica's four-man bobsleigh team have now been resolved, after the crucial documents got stuck at Stansted Airport.

The team's official accreditation had arrived in the UK from Jamaica last Friday but delays releasing them for delivery had been jeopardising their chances of making their flights to Beijing on Friday.

However, on Thursday the airport told Sky News: "We are pleased to have resolved the issue and successfully delivered the items. We wish them all the best in the games.''

The team said they received the package of documents at 11pm on Wednesday night.

The Jamaican quartet is made up of Shanwayne Stephens, Ashley Watson, Matthew Wekpe, and Nimroy Turgott.

It is the first time in 24 years that Jamaica has had a four-man bobsleigh team at the Winter Games and the very first team that entered in 1988 inspired the hit film Cool Runnings.

Mr Watson told Sky News they "want to become the best Jamaican team in history".

Cool Runnings, he said, had brought the team worldwide fame.

Read more: Jamaica's bobsleigh heroes want medals and aren't heading to the games just to make up the numbers

"People ask me if I've got a lucky egg", he said, referencing the egg Sanka Coffie asks his teammates to kiss for luck before the races in the movie.

The delay with passes was a "very stressful situation", but the team is excited to be able to head to Beijing tomorrow.

They do not have the same funding enjoyed by most of their rivals, so faced losing up to £20,000 in costs, had the documents not arrived in time.

The strict COVID-19 protocols around the Winter Olympics mean that accreditation passes are even more vital than usual.

While awaiting the vital documents, the 2022 team have been finalising their preparations on a practice track at Bath University.

Appearing on Sky News this morning, 1988 captain Dudley 'Tal' Stokes wished the team luck, adding: "Focus, concentrate, execute and enjoy what you can."

Read more about the Winter Olympics:
Future of snow sports on thin ice, report warns
Lizzy Yarnold's five Team GB medal hopes to watch in Beijing
Beijing Winter Olympics: Athletes could pay a heavy price for speaking out

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