Peterborough based Jamaican Bobsled star and ex-Jack Hunt pupil to write their own piece of Cool Runnings history at Olympics

A Peterborough based Jamaican Bobsled star - and a former Jack Hunt School pupil - will be able to write their own piece of Cool Runnings history after qualifying for the Olympics.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 5:00 am
Ashley Watson in training
Ashley Watson in training

Peterborough - with it’s lack of snow, ice and hills - might not seem the obvious location for Olympic Jamaican bobsledders to be found - but half of their squad going to the games have strong links to our city.

Shanwayne Stephens moved from the Caribbean island to Peterborough when he was aged 11, and still lives in the city - and will represent his nation in Beijing when the Winter games start next month.

Shanwayne has been piloting the Jamaican sled through the qualifying campaign, leading the team to qualification in the four man event. While the line up for the games has yet to be officially announced, it is expected he will be in the driving seat for the games.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

He is expected to be joined by former Jack Hunt pupil Ashley Watson, who has been part of the four man team as brakeman.

Jamaica qualified 28th - the final spot available - to take part in the games.

RAF lance corporal Shanwayne hit the headlines through lockdown with his unique training methods - pushing a Mini Cooper through the streets of Peterborough.

The Peterborough Telegraph first reported on Shanwayne’s bid to qualify for the Olympics in 2017 - but he just missed out on qualification for the 2018 games.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team became world famous as a result of their exploits in the 1988 games in Calgary - with family film Cool Runnings being loosely set around their story.

This year will be the first time since 1988 that Jamaica will have a four man bobsled team at the Olympics, and also the first time they have three sleds racing, with a two-man bob and the women’s monobob also having representation.

Great Britain are expected to be among the medal contenders in the two man bobsled in Beijing - but will have tough competition from Germany, Canada, USA and Switzerland.

The four man bobsled event will start on Saturday, February 19, with the medals being decided the following day, on the last day of competition at the games.