Trinidad and Tobago’s bobsleigh team will use the next 18 months to develop a well-oiled four-man team ahead of qualifiers, as they set their sights on the 2026 Winter Olympic Games in Italy. 

Piloted Axel Brown, the Soca Sliders, which also comprises Shakeel John, Xaverri Williams and Du Aundre John, is expected to feature more athletes, courtesy of a recent recruitment drive for potential bobsledders. For the first time in the nation’s short Winter Olympic history, Trinidad and Tobago will be chasing a spot in the four-man event.

The twin island republic's previous appearances in 1994 (Lillehammer, Norway), 1998 (Nangano, Japan), 2002 (Utah, USA) and 2022 (Beijing, China), were in the two-man bobsleigh.  The 2026 Olympic qualifiers slide off from November 2025 to January 2026.

But until then, Brown believes the team has a lot of work to do and, as such, pointed out that the focus for this year will be on development and continuity.

“It’s a growing year so we’re not so much looking at results, we’re looking at the future and what we can do now to help the next couple of years. Yes, most of our 2023 results were good but we’re really looking at growing the team, getting better and laying the groundwork for the other teams,” Brown told Trinidad and Tobago Newsday in a recent interview.

While he is grateful that the country's bobsledders more or less come from a track and field background, Brown stressed the need to improve on their push power at the start of the race.

“If they train day-in, day-out they can get a lot stronger and a lot closer to the proverbial perfect bobsledder. Because that’s where they’re lacking right now, they’ve never truly hit the gym really hard in order to gain strength," he said.

“We’re trying to reframe their priorities to show them what it means to be and train like a bobsledder. We had some really good opportunities over the past three weeks to train alongside them. Normally, on the ice, the driver has to operate a little bit separately because of the different responsibilities, so to train alongside them for the last three weeks has been really beneficial," Brown added.

Double Olympic bobsleigh pilot Mica McNeill, who defied a funding cut to secure a best-ever British women’s bobsleigh finish of eighth place in Pyeongchang in 2018, has announced her retirement from the sport.

McNeill has not returned to the sport since a disappointing performance in Beijing last year and said she had reached her decision with “no regrets” as she focuses on launching a new career as an athlete agent.

McNeill launched a crowdfunding campaign from a garage in Consett in her native County Durham to fund her bid to reach Pyeongchang after the women’s programme had its funding controversially cut one year out from the Games.

Along with team-mate Adele Nicoll, McNeill also achieved a second place finish in a World Cup event in Sigulda, Latvia, in January 2022, the first time British women had stood on a World Cup podium in 13 years.

McNeill told the PA news agency: “I’ve been doing this sport for 13 years and, after taking some time to reflect, I realised that while I could have done another Olympic cycle, it is time to start another journey.

“It was a difficult decision because the nature of every athlete is that you think you can go on for ever. I find it very hard to watch races but I have had to fight my inner athlete and rein myself in.”

McNeill’s career in the sport coincided with a period of unprecedented turmoil within the domestic governing body, which had its funding significantly cut in 2017 due to allegations of bullying, racism, sexism and discrimination within the sport.

Launching her GoFundMe campaign in direct response, McNeill accused the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association of “mismanagement”, but now believes the fight she put up to preserve her Olympic dream can pave the way for others to succeed.

McNeill’s retirement announcement comes less than a week after her former team-mates’ unprecedented success in the first post-Beijing season prompted funding body UK Sport to announce an £850,000 funding boost for the bobsleigh programme.

“I was involved in some of the hardest battles for British bobsleigh so it’s tough to see the funding arriving now, but obviously it’s also nice to see because the sport is in a much better place,” added McNeill.

“It will be a case of looking back and thinking what if, but I have no regrets or negative feelings.

“I feel like while the battles I went through definitely affected my performance, I learned so much both within the sport and in life lessons that I wouldn’t have got if it wasn’t for those tough times.

“I do think what we went through as a women’s programme helped shape the new federation and the sport in general to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again, and I think we have left it with a clearer path.”

McNeill is set to launch her own company, The Athletes’ Agency, before the end of this month and has every intention of being trackside at the 2026 Winter Games in Italy, either in her new role or within the coaching set-up.

“I have a huge passion for bobsleigh so it’s not something I could ever walk away from,” she added.

“I would love to help other bobsleigh athletes to achieve and even if that means being stood on the sidelines watching the sleds coming round the bend, that’s going to make me happy.”

The Trinidad and Tobago bobsleigh team of Axel Brown and Shakeel John created history for that country at the North American Cup when they finished fourth in the two-man bobsleigh event in Park City, Utah.

They are also now the second Caribbean country to win medals at the North American Cup as Jamaica has won multiple events and medals from the women monobob, two-woman and two-man bobsled events dating back to the 1990s.

In the North American Cup the first six places win medals and Brown and John clocked a combined time of 1:38.24 (48.81/49.43) to finish behind Canada (1:38.11), USA (1:37.78) and the winning Korean team (1:37.59).

It was a major moment in the sport’s history in the twin-island republic athletes.

 “We’re all coming to terms with the fact that we just made history,” Brown told Newsday.

“Of course, we wanted to be in the top three, but to be racing against the biggest nations in our sport and challenging them on the ice (is great). I can’t wait to see what this team can continue to achieve.”

The history-making team races again Tuesday, November 22 and Wednesday, November 23.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Men’s Bobsled team is aiming to qualify for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022 and end a 20-year hiatus from the Games.

The team consisting of Summer Olympic hurdler Mikel Thomas, sprinter Andre Marcano, Axel Brown, and brothers Shomari and Shakeel Brown has been competing on the North American Cup tour and will know whether or not they’ve qualified for the Olympics on January 16.

Their best seven out of eight races in recent months will count towards Olympic qualification.

Right now, the team is comfortably ahead of countries like Italy, Croatia, Israel, and Jamaica and Brown says the team’s chances look good as long as they can stay ahead while also pointing out that they are relatively inexperienced.

“We are currently comfortably ahead of them, but this is elite sport and anything could happen. I understand that a lot of people were not aware T&T had a bobsleigh team, but it only happened realistically three months before the start of the season so this has only existed in a tangible form since July,” Brown told the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

Brown, born to a Trinidadian mother and British father, has also represented Great Britain in the past and says he’s overwhelmed by the response of the Trinidadian public to the team.

“It feels great. I am really excited over not only what we have been able to do on the ice, but also the reception that it’s had. It’s been incredible. To be doing what I am doing still, but having such a warm welcome and such an excited kind of fan base is honestly so validating and lovely…it is exciting that now all of a sudden, the TT population is kind of embracing us and what we are able to do. That’s again, so nice,” he said.

Brown hopes that this team can inspire future generations of Trinidadian bobsledders.

“Going forward into the next four years…hopefully, there are other TT teams that are inspired by what we are doing, but I think we certainly have the athletic pool from which to choose great athletes from but also the four that we’ve got at the moment are doing incredibly well and I am really excited to see what they can do,” Brown added.




Jamaica’s four-man Bobsled team ended 2021 on a high after securing a medal at the North American Cup in Lake Placid, New York.

The team consisting of Shanwayne Stephens, Ashley Watson, Rolando Reid, and Matthew Wekpe got a time of 1:52.87 to finish seventh overall in the Four-Man Bobsled on December 20.

Stephens and Watson also teamed up to finish seventh overall in the Two-Man Bobsled with a time of 1:55.70 on December 15.

Watson, who is also completing his Master’s degree in Physiotherapy, reacted to the achievement on his Instagram page.

“Great way to end our last races of the year with my first ever medal in Bobsleigh. It’s been a long, hard emotional first half of the season. It has been worth the three-plus months graft to have an opportunity to reach the Olympic Games,” he said.

Watson also expressed gratitude to the support staff for the team.

“I’m very proud of the team and hugely thankful for the sponsors, coaches, physio, and people working behind the scenes,” he added.

He says the team will take some time to rest before resuming the season next year.

“Now to go home for a short period to rest before the second half of the season and hopefully the Olympics,” Watson said.


Former Munro College athlete and current Jamaican Bobsledder, Rolando Reid, wants to achieve his Olympic dream in bobsled after being unable to do so on the track.

Reid is a member of Jamaica’s four-man bobsleigh team along with teammates Shanwayne Stephens, Matthew Wekpe, Ashley Watson, Nimroy Turgott and Wayne McPherson.

Speaking on the latest episode of On Point on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel, Reid said the pursuit of his original dream to represent the country in track and field at the Olympics was dashed because of injuries.

“For me growing up, I always wanted to represent the country at the senior level in Track and Field at the Olympic Games. However, due to injuries, that wasn’t possible,” said Reid, who revealed that representing Jamaica at the Winter Olympics is his new dream.

“This is my other dream of representing the country at the senior level and making it to the Winter Olympic Games.”

Reid said he has made many sacrifices to get this far.

“I’ve literally dedicated every single thing to this; lost my job in the process and I’m a new father as well so that’s a whole different thing. Giving up time with family just to make this dream a reality so I have given it my all pretty much,” he said.

The former teacher said the team hopes to qualify for the Olympics and set the stage for the next generation of bobsledders.

“We’re setting the pace for the next generation as well. The baton was passed onto us from the older generation, the Disney generation, so we’re just trying to continue that legacy,” said Reid.

When Reid says “Disney Generation” he’s referring to Jamaica’s first four-man bobsleigh team at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, who inspired the 1993 Disney film titled “Cool Runnings.”

The full interview can be seen on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel.




Jamaican bobsledder Audra Segree has expressed happiness with her performances so far this season with teammate Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian.

Segree, a former track and field standout at Holmwood Technical in Jamaica, partnered with Fenlator-Victorian to finish third in the 2-woman Bobsleigh at the North American Cup in Whistler, Canada on November 14th.

That podium finish followed a fourth-place finish a day earlier.

Speaking on an episode of On Point on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel, Segree was pleased with her progress.

“Our performance has been great. We have challenges here and there but we work through it and sort it out. At the end of the day, we’re grateful that we finished on the podium so the start of the journey has been great,” said Segree.

When asked what she has discovered from her early runs that will help her improve throughout the rest of the season, Segree referred to getting things in place at a faster pace.

“Based on our vibe and our energy, we’re getting things together earlier in the season so going forward we’re just cleaning up stuff, being more consistent and putting in more effort and determination to always being at the top to collect points,” she said.

With the 2022 Winter Olympics beginning in Beijing on February 4, Segree explained what the team needs to do to qualify for the games.

“I can’t say how many points we need exactly because we are split up. There is the North American Cup, Europe Cup and World Cup. I think being consistently in the top-five should set us on the right path for the Olympics,” Segree said.

The full interview can be seen on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel.

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