Dudley 'Tal' Stokes says Jamaica's bobsleigh team "proved to the world you can overcome anything" despite a "seemingly hopeless" situation following an eventful Winter Olympics.
Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell made history on Wednesday as the first female bobsledders from Jamaica to compete at the Winter Olympics, 30 years on from their male counterparts that inspired the film "Cool Runnings", despite plenty of upheaval in the build-up that included the resignation of the team's coach.
Sandra Kiriasis quit her position, claiming she was forced out by the changing of her role that reportedly would not have allowed her access to the athletes, and the situation was further complicated after the German threatened to take the team's sled.
The Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation (JBF) insisted that the team's participation was never in jeopardy, but beer brand Red Stripe offered to buy the sled the team was renting to ensure they would compete.
Stokes: "The team never lost faith"
After finishing a credible 13th in their final run, Stokes - a member of the male Olympic team 30 years ago and now a team coach - hailed the collective effort of the whole team even though they finished 19th out of 20 overall.
Final words from Coach Dudley ”Tal” Stokes. pic.twitter.com/0Xgew0iaLb— Jamaica Bobsled Team (@Jambobsled) February 22, 2018
"In a seemingly hopeless situation the team never lost faith in themselves or the staff and fought to the end," he said via a JBF statement.
"It is a testament to the strong bond, between the athletes, coaching staff and management that we were able to finish this race with a final run overall in 13th place and the realisation that the 1.5 seconds we lost over the previous three runs would have put us comfortably in a single digit position.
"We had mechanical issues that became apparent on the first run, and were not resolved until the last. The results were not what we were looking for, however, we proved to the world you can overcome anything.
"We came to Pyeongchang to struggle, suffer, and try to win the race. We did that, because this is how WE ROLL."