Segree tackles slide of death

August 21, 2018
Anthony Watson of Jamaica starts his first run during the men's skeleton competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange (centre) with Carrie Russell and Audra Segree (right), members of Jamaica's historic women's bobsleigh team that competed in the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Audra Segree, a member of the history-making female two-man Olympic bobsleigh team, is used to making tough decisions in her sporting career.

The former Holmwood Technical High School athlete made the tough decision to switch from athletics to bobsleigh after failing to establish herself as a major contender to represent the country at major athletics events.

The 27-year-old made another tough decision, when she decided to take on full-time, an event that is considered one of the deadliest Winter Olympic sport.

"When he (president of the Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, Chris Stokes) first mentioned Skeleton to me, I was against it," Segree said. "But in March there was a school for bobsleigh and skeleton in New York for new beginners and I was introduced to it. I said why not go and try it and at the end of the programme, I was convinced this event is for me."

According to Segree, a part of the reason she has decided to take on the event is the fact that no other Jamaican female has ever participated in the event, and the thought of again being the first Jamaican to do something entices her.




"The plan is to represent Jamaica in this event at the Winter Olympics and seeing that Jamaica never had a female skeleton athlete that is history making in itself. I hope when I am successful, I hope it can encourage other females to want to do it," Segree said.

Segree, Carrie Russell and Jazmine Fenlator- Victorian created history when they participated in the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, earlier this year.

But not even her new history-making quest could take away the fear that Segree approached the new sport with.

"I was scared when I got there (Bobsleigh School in New York). I started to practise at the bottom of the slope and before the training I got to the top," Segree said.

According to the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, athletes who take part in this event slide down the course with their chins mere centimetres from the ice. This would cause them to scrape their chins on the surface when maneuvering the corners, which normally obscure their visions.

The event has been banned from the Winter Olympic Games twice, making its final return in 2002.

Although Ricky McIntosh is the first Jamaican to take part in the event, Anthony Watson is the only Jamaican to participate in the event at the Winter Games when he did so earlier this year.

Segree will begin her journey to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in the fall, when she takes another plunge down the ice in New York in her next meet.

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