From sprinter to bobsledder

December 22, 2016
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Schillonie Calvert (left) pursues Carrie Russell winner of her heat in the Women's 100 metre at the UTech Classics on Saturday April 13, 2014.

Sprinter Carrie Russell has made the switch to the bobsled and says that her time in her new sport has been bittersweet.

Russell made the switch earlier this year and is now a brake-woman for the national team.

She was introduced to the sport by her coach at the MVP Track & Field Club, Stephen Francis, whom she says wanted her to pick up bobsledding in order to regain what he calls her "explosiveness" out of the starting blocks.

Russell competed for Jamaica at the North American Cup in Canada in November and says that the "bitter" moment came when she and pilot Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, who formerly competed for the United States, crashed on the same track in Calgary as Jamaica's historic men's 1988 Olympics team.

"If you ask me, I would say we [Jamaica] have badluck on that track," she said.

"When we came off the track and I asked her [Fenlator-Victorian] what happened, she said she couldn't talk, she was dumbstruck."

making the switch

The pair also competed in Canada on November 25 and finished 15th in that event.

Fenlator-Victorian has competed in World Cup events for the USA before making the switch, to the land of her father's birth earlier this year.

The team wants to create history at the next Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. They would become the first ever female team that the nation has ever sent to the Winter Games.

"I'm getting to love the sport and I'm getting to understand the sport more. My pilot is one of the best there is in the world. I'm looking forward to great things at the Winter Olympics with her," she says.

Russell will be back in training early next month ahead of Jamaica's next two outings in the North American Cup but she says that the public can also expect to see her at the JAAA's All Comers Track Meets early next year. She will be returning to the track to attempt to prepare for next summer's National Trials. Her hope is to make Jamaica's track team to next year's IAAF World Championships in London.

Other Sports Stories