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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Jamaican bobsledder admits he takes inspiration from ‘Cool Runnings’

'I still watch that movie as if it's the first time I'm watching it,' says Winston Watts ahead of Sunday's opening heats for the two-man bobsleigh competition, while Brazil's women's team also walked away from a scary crash during training.
Pilot Winston Watts of Jamaica and his push athlete Marvin Dixon at the start of their run in the men's two-man bobsleigh training session on Friday. Tobias Hase / EPA
Pilot Winston Watts of Jamaica and his push athlete Marvin Dixon at the start of their run in the men's two-man bobsleigh training session on Friday. Tobias Hase / EPA

The Jamaican bobsleigh team open a new chapter in their compelling rags-to-riches story on Sunday.

Over at the Sanki sliding centre, the Jamaican duo of Winston Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon go into the first heats of the two-man bobsleigh as underdogs for the gold but favourites with the crowd.

The 46-year-old Watts, who is taking part in a fourth Olympics but first since 2002, admitted that he still even watches “Cool Runnings”, the Hollywood movie that chronicled Jamaica’s famous first appearance at a Winter Olympics, at Calgary in 1988.

“I still watch that movie as if it’s the first time I’m watching it,” Watts said. “It’s very inspiring.”

Meanwhile, Brazil’s women’s bobsled team walked away from a spectacular crash on Sunday during two-man training.

On their first practice run, driver Fabiana Santos and Sally Mayara da Silva flipped their sled, which went airborne coming out of a turn on the Sanki Sliding Center track and bashed into a wall. The tipped bobsled slid on its side down a long straightaway and Santos’ helmeted head banged off one side as the 400-pound (180-kilogram) vehicle skittered down the ice.

Track workers pulled both athletes from the toppled sled. They were checked by medical personnel and don’t have any serious injuries.

Their sled received some damage.

Brazil’s team did not to take its sixth and final run, but Santos and da Silva are expected to compete on Tuesday’s first day of competition.

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