Trinidad and Tobago’s bobsled team returns to Winter Olympics after 20 years, grabs ticket to Beijing at last minute
Published: Jan 20, 2022 11:48 PM Updated: Jan 20, 2022 11:41 PM

Beijing Winter Olympics
Beijing Winter Olympics

The Caribbean island country of Trinidad and Tobago's men's bobsled team has, at the last minute, snagged a ticket to Beijing for the Winter Olympics, as its Olympic Committee President expressed high anticipation and confidence in the upcoming event.

Trinidad and Tobago received the final confirmation from the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday, according to Brian Lewis, President of Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee.

It means the tropical country's much anticipated return to the Winter Games after two decades.

The Beijing Winter Olympics would be a success and would provide the world with an opportunity to share in China's brilliance, while inspiring and motivating the world and its youth from all walks of life, Lewis told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.

Trinidad and Tobago will be dispatching a six-member team comprising of four athletes and two officials. They are pilot Axel Brown, brakeman Andre Marcano, alternate Mikel Thomas, reserve Shakeel John, and officials Thomas Harris and Lewis Prentice, according to the Trinidad and Tobago's news website News Day.

Lewis revealed that it is in fact a new team, and "the pilot Axel Brown is very experienced."

Trinidad and Tobago is among the top 19 ranked nations listed in the sport and is in line to be featured in the bobsled event at the Games after a 20-year hiatus, the News Day reported.

"Ilook forward to a very determined performance from the team. I'm confident that they will represent Trinidad and Tobago with pride, dignity, patriotism, fairness, and the spirit of good sportsmanship, and abiding by the rules and regulations and with a spirit of friendship," Lewis said.

The last time Trinidad and Tobago competed in men's bobsled event in the Olympics was in 2002 in Salt Lake City, US. The bobsled team first entered the Winter Games in 1994 at Lillehammer, Norway, followed by a second showing in Nagano, Japan, four years later.

Lewis, also President for the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees, believes that the sprint and tradition of the region's countries such as Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica,  serves as an advantage, which could be translated into the bobsled event.

Also, the involvement of contestants, who are part of the Diaspora comprising of more tropical countries born in countries with winter sport traditions, could provide more opportunities to these countries to participate in Winter Olympics.