He may have been a proverbial mile from a medal but Dow Travers must have
felt like a podium member all the same. He started as 101st, with
only two skiers classified as slower yet finished 69th. Considering
he is a part-time athlete, having to spend more time earning a degree than on
the slopes, that was a commendable achievement. All Caymanians should feel
proud and hail the youngster who beat competitors from much bigger countries
that actually have mountains and snow. He’s a champ in my books.
Jamaica’s heroic bobsleigh team from the 1988 Olympics in Calgary is so
enduring that there is a genuine feeling of disappointment that they are not at
these games. Errol Kerr competes in the freestyle ski cross for Jamaica on
Saturday, but it’s not the same. In fact, a bar in Whistler - Savage Beagle -
has added Jamaica Bobsleigh to its name for the duration of the Olympics.
Cynical marketing ploy, sure, but it emphasises just how popular the Cool Runnings
The Jamaican connection has a certain resonance with many. I got into
conversation with a German wearing a Jamaican scarf. Turned out Alvox was sent
to Kingston as part of Germany’s Peace Corps in 1967. Not speaking a word of
English, much less patois, he hated it initially but within two months came to
love Jamaican life and culture and stayed for ten years, marrying a local girl
in the process. They are still married, live in Frankfurt now, but return to
Jamaica regularly. The Jamaican tourist board runs an advert with the
catchline: ‘Once you go, you know.’ That sounds about right.