1. ITV Report

Cool Runnings: The Jamaican bobsleigh team with dreams of Sochi

Winston Watts is leading the Jamaican bobsleigh team hoping to qualify for the Winter Olympics. Photo: ITV News

With big dreams and a donated bobsleigh, two men from Jamaica are hoping to win big at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Coming out of retirement and leading the Jamaican charge for glory is Olympic veteran Winston Watts - a 46-year-old who has swapped the tropical climate of Jamaica for the wintry Rocky Mountains in the Wyoming town of Evanston - in preparation for the Games.

A self-confessed "crazy man from Jamaica," Watts is optimistic of his country's chances with the team on the verge of qualifying for the Games in Russia, despite the many obstacles in their way:

Speaking to ITV News, Watts - who has competed in the Winter Olympics of 1994, 1998 and 2002 before his retirement - hopes Jamaica can once again send a bobsleigh team to the Games, having failed to qualify in 2006 and 2010.

Their Olympic future rests on this weekend's qualifying runs in Austria. If the Jamaicans finish the weekend within the top 30 of the world rankings they can book their flights to Sochi - although who would be paying for them is another matter.

Watts explained the team has not received any funding from the Jamaican Olympic Committee and are paying their way with their own money and donations. Even their two-man bobsled is a donation from a company in Germany:

But Watts - who has lived in Wyoming since 1999 - is not disheartened by the team's financial woes, declaring "I'm always positive, I never have a negative thought."

The mention of the Jamaican bobsleigh team evokes, for many, images from the 1993 Disney film based on the country's first appearance in the Winter Olympics bobsleigh competition in Calgary, Canada.

Watt - a military man before his sporting endeavours - says he watches the film regularly:

Watts explained that the people of Evanston have taken the Jamaican team to their hearts, donating to their cause and willing them to do well - support that is mirrored by supporters back home in Jamaica:

It is now some 26 years after the first ever Jamaican bobsleigh team captured the imaginations of fans by going for gold at the Calgary Games. Watts says a lot has changed since then with the Jamaican bobseligh team proving themselves as "serious contenders" on the Olympic stage: