In continuing to chart a path of inspiration, Jamaican Olympian bobsledder, Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian joined the Sandals Foundation on International Women’s Day to share her powerful story of triumph with young women at Iona High School in Tower Isle, St. Mary.

The three-time Olympian highlighted the positive impact that sports can have on charting paths beyond one’s wildest dreams noting that, “Sports opens pathways to not just create history but showcase that the impossible is very much possible.”

Fenlator-Victorian debuted the first female Jamaican sled at PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018, and earlier this year was among the 20-sled field representing Jamaica in the Beijing Games.

Her growth as an individual through participation in sports was insightful to the hall of students who were all in awe of her commanding but warm and inviting presence.

“Sport has so many lessons, more often ones unrelated to actual performance but rather life itself. Guiding you to collaborate, evolve and adapt towards becoming your best self and achieving your wildest dreams.”

With a passion for encouraging young people to tap into their full potential, Fenlator-Victorian also encouraged students to dare to dream big and remain steadfast in pursuit of their goals.

“I urge all of you to dive into the women before you, tap into these roots that were paved and take charge making your own way. You alone are in control of your destiny. Don’t allow other people’s opinions, projections or judgments to deter you from stepping into your best self and shining bright. Be your biggest cheerleader and big up yourself nuff,” said Fenlator-Victorian.

Sandals Resorts announced their sponsorship of the 2022 Jamaica Bobsleigh Team ahead of the team’s visit to the 2022 Winter Olympics last month helping to cover the substantial logistics and travel costs required to send qualifying athletes to Beijing, as well as additional bobsleigh events leading up to the 2023 world championship event.

As part of the partnership, team manager Chris Stokes and the athletes, including Fenlator-Victorian will continue to join forces with the Sandals Foundation on long-term initiatives geared towards grooming the next generation of athletes — including the recent visit to Iona High School.

Since its establishment in 2009, the Sandals Foundation has invested in youth engagement programs across the Caribbean, utilizing sports as one of its vehicles to help young people develop key life skills and take advantage of opportunities for higher learning and exposure to the global competitive arena.

“Sport is an incredible vehicle through which children learn discipline, teamwork, self-confidence, humility and so much more,” said Heidi Clarke, executive director at Sandals Foundation. “As we join the world in commemorating International Women’s Day and amplify the message and the need to ‘break the bias’, from one athlete to another, we could not think of a better way to share with the next generation of women, what hard work and perseverance can do.”

 “Yesterday’s visit with the Olympian,” Clarke continued, “marks only the beginning of more to come. We are extremely grateful to Jazmine for helping to share incredible advice and powerful words to motivate these young women as they chart their unique courses of desire,” said Clarke.

Jamaican bobsledder Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian may not have claimed any medals but can be considered a winner based on the fact that she was even able to compete at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

After originally being scheduled to compete in both the Women’s Monobob and the two-woman bobsled, the three-time Olympian could only compete in one after the team narrowly failed to qualify for the latter event.

As if that wasn’t enough for her to contend with, she was also dealing with death in her family as her sister passed away just before the Olympics.

“Right now, I don’t have the words to really express all that I have experienced in these last weeks,” she said in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

“What I can do is say this…Thank You from the absolute bottom of my heart. Competing in Beijing has been wild in more ways than one. I honestly didn’t believe I could be here and I made it and competed with every ounce in me to the best of my ability despite circumstances,” she added.

Fenlator-Victorian finished 19th in the Women’s Monobob with a time of 4:28.56.

“For now, I’m filled with gratitude for every individual that has coached me, mentored me, treated me, cared for me, messaged, shared, contributed, provided, smiled, and more. My heart is exploding, and I want you all to know I truly appreciate it all over the last three Olympics. One love,” Fenlator-Victorian said.

 

President of the Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, Chris Stoke, insists the team will now shift all its attention into competition mode following an unsuccessful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) on behalf of the country’s two-woman team.

On Monday, a CAS panel rejected an appeal filed by woman bobsledder Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian who had called for a recalculation of the point rankings for the Beijing 2022 Quota Allocation for the two-woman event, based only on races that actually took place. 

The appeal was based on the decision made by the Olympic organisers after inclement weather had led to the cancelation of a meet scheduled for Germany on December 4.  According to the filing, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation instead counted a December 5 competition twice, which allowed a sled piloted by France’s Margot Boch to qualify for the final spot in the two-woman bobsled competition at the Olympics. The decision meant Audra Segree, Fenlator-Victorian's brakewoman, missed out on a spot via a tiebreak.  The court, however, rejected the appeal.

While insisting it was important to air their grouses, Stokes insists the team is ready to move on.

“The decision has come down as dismissed, we accept that wholeheartedly.  Winning is one thing but the more important thing is to speak up and I’m very proud of Jazmine for speaking up,” Stokes said.

“We maintain that it is better sports results be determined on the field of play and not in administration but we put that behind us and we are now in a high-performance zone and we are getting ready for competition.”

Fenlator-Victorian will compete in the Women’s Monobob, which gets underway on February 11.  Jamaica’s men’s team will compete in both the Two-Man and Four-Man events, which get underway a few days later.

The appeal by Jamaica’s Winter Olympic athlete Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian concerning the reallocation of quota places in bobsleigh/skeleton for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 has been rejected by the Ad hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Jamaica Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (JBSF) High Performance Director Mark Silver has lamented the circumstances that saw the country’s women’s two-woman team edged out of the Olympic qualifying positions.

Up to last month, the women’s team of Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and brake woman Audra Segree were favoured to be listed among the automatic qualifiers for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, among the world’s top 12 teams.  By the time January rolled around, however, a conflation of unfortunate circumstances had changed things entirely.  According to Silver, things began to go wrong from the perspective of the team at Latvia's Sigulda World Series where there was a Covid-19 outbreak.

“We did everything we could.  We missed out because of the weather and believe it or not Covid,” Silver explained.

How it works is there are races across the world, after Christmas, the first race was in Latvia, and unfortunately, 7 athletes couldn’t race, which meant that athletes that would have finished lower down finished higher and received points that they wouldn’t have if the race was full of athletes,” he added. 

“In another race, a massive amount of snow meant that athletes who raced later benefited from the snow being clear.  Now, with the snow it's part of the sport, we expect that.”

In the final standing, the team finished tied with France for the final spot but were edge out via the tiebreak.  The team could still qualify for the Games if France or any of the other 10 teams above them Germany, Canada, United States, China, ROC, Switzerland, Romania, Austria, Great Britain, Australia, or Belgium are unable to take part in the event.

“With Covid, the girls finished third overall on the NAC, and before Christmas, I would have said I was confident and with the press release, had it been what we had expected and predicted they were probably our safest option,” he added 

“However, things that changed but that’s sports.  For each bad thing that goes against you sometimes we get good things and fingers crossed we were bang on points, and who knows maybe this time around luck will go with us.  Hopefully not at the expense of anyone else but hopefully the girls will get to live their dreams as well because they worked so hard.”

Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian has all but officially qualified in the two-woman bobsleigh for next year’s Winter Olympics in China based on the latest International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) rankings.

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.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.