'No bobsled, no problem:' Red Stripe brews up plan to save Jamaican women's team

Beer company delivers new sled after coach quits, takes old one with her

'No bobsled, no problem:' Red Stripe brews up plan to save Jamaican women's team
Bobsledders Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, left, and Carrie Russell, right, of Jamaica, pictured in January, received a new sled from Red Stripe after their coach quit the team and took their old sled with her. © Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images For IBSF

By Myles Dichter, CBC Sports

It looked as though Jamaica's Olympic women's bobsleigh team was about to fizzle out of Pyeongchang.

But then, the country's national brewery, Red Stripe, slid in at the last moment to save them.

On the 30th anniversary of the famous Jamaican men's team that was canonized in Cool Runnings, the country sent its first ever women's bobsleigh team to the Olympics. But just a few days ago, driver coach Sandra Kiriasis quit the team —  and took their sled with her.

Kiriasis, who won gold for Germany at the Turin Olympics in 2006, was upset that the Jamaican Bobsled and Skeleton Federation wanted to downgrade her to a "track and performance analyst," according to her Facebook post.

"I still do not know the reasons behind the decision of Jamaican Bobsleigh Federation," she wrote. "And certainly will not allow to be used as the puppet on a string by the federation."

Kiriasis says she was told to leave the Olympic Village and to halt all contact with athletes. So she left Pyeongchang altogether, and took the bobsled with her.

The Federation responded with its own statement, calling Kiriasis' decision "deeply disappointing."

That's when things began looking more dicey — and less icy — for driver Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and brakewoman Carrie Russell.

That is, until Red Stripe brewed up a plan to put a new sled on their "bar tab."

"As a beer born and brewed on the same island as these athletes, we want to ensure they have what they need to proudly compete," a Red Stripe spokesperson wrote in a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.

The Jamaican Federation formally accepted the sled, and it has arrived in Pyeongchang in the clink of time, as training begins Saturday with the first heat going Tuesday.

Only one complication remains. In a statement, the Federation referred to the new sled as a gift from Red Stripe. But the beer company's statement claimed they were "working with the federation to determine a price for the sled."

In any case, Red Stripe has allowed Fenlator-Victorian and Russell to compete as they'd initially planned.

Cheers to that.