Jamaican Bobsled Driver Winston Watts Calls Evanston, Wyoming Home
Did you know Wyoming has a connection to the Jamaican bobsled team competing in Sochi?
Winston Watts, the driver of the 2-man Jamaican bobsled, lives in Evanston and the entire Jamaican team has been training for the Olympics in the southwestern Wyoming town.
The Jamaican 2-man bobsled team came in last, but they were still very popular in Sochi, Russia. An NBC broadcaster, Lewis Johnson, presented Watts and his team mate Marvin Dixon with a lucky egg painted with the Jamaican flag. The re-make of the ‘Cool Runnings’ scene was meant as good luck for the next Winter Olympics.
How did the Jamaican bobsled team end up in Wyoming? It all started with Evanston attorney Paul Skog, who calls himself the real John Candy from the ‘Cool Runnings’ movie.
When preparations were underway for the Salt Lake City Olympics in 1997, Skog approached the Jamaicans about having their teams train in Evanston nearby. By 1999, nine athletes from Jamaica were training there, including Winston Watts.
Since that time, Watts has worked in the natural gas fields outside of Evanston as a Senior Operator. He recently came out of retirement at the age of 46 to compete again in the 2-man bobsled event.
Despite the outcome, I’m still proud to have a fellow Wyomingite competing at the Sochi Olympics as a Jamaican bobsledder.