Jamaica's miracle bobsled team in jeopardy after coach quits

Jamaica's miracle bobsled team in jeopardy after coach quits

Stokes described Kiriasis - a world, European and Olympic champion, as a destructive element and underlined that her resignation, which came days before the start of competition at the Winter Olympics will not affect the team's preparation. The federation disputed that she owns the sled and denies that the team will have to withdraw from the Olympics as a result of her departure, according to BBC.

Jamaica are also due to make their Winter Olympic debut in skeleton at Pyeongchang 2018 after Anthony Watson received a reallocated quota place.

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Kiriasis, who won women's bobsled gold at the 2006 Turin Games and silver four years earlier in Salt Lake City, became the team's driving coach late last year.

The BBC reported that her decision comes after she was asked by Jamaica Bobsleigh to change her role from driving coach to track performance analyst, a position that would have meant her no longer working personally with the team.

"(I) would have to leave the Olympic village, would lose my accreditation as part of the Jamaican team and was not supposed to have any more contact with the athletes", she said.

The sled situation is now up in the air despite the Jamaican Bobsleigh Federation denying that the team will be forced to pull out of the event.

Pulito, who said Kiriasis was a valued member of the team, thanked her for her contribution, but labelled her decision as "disheartening".

"Come start time we're going to be at the top of the hill, we're going to have a competitive sled and the team is going to be ready - we'll have a good performance".

I have never known such disappointment in this sport, in my life.

"Now that she is off the team synergy is much better, tension is down and athletes are now able to focus in a much healthier environment", Stokes told Reuters.

The debutants are set to begin their official training runs on Saturday before the competition heats on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The history of the Jamaican bobsled team dates back to the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and the four-man team that was immortalized in film.

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