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Sochi officials: Jamaican bobsled team qualifies; will it race?

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

On Friday, it seemed likely that the Jamaican bobsled team would qualify for the Olympics next month in Sochi.

On Saturday, it seemed that the dream for Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon -- the two-man team -- would become a reality.

Sochi officials reportedly confirmed to the Associated Press that the Jamaicans had indeed made the field.

But not so fast.

A couple of factors -- funding, in particular -- could keep the Jamaicans from making the trip to Russia.

"Right now," Watts told the AP Saturday, "we're at zero."

Watts had been funding the team for the past couple of years, and they've recently taken to outside donations to pay for the Olympics.

Even if they can get their funding in order, official word with regards to their qualification may not be known until Sunday at the earliest, according to the AP.

Further complicating matters, the official Sochi Olympics Twitter page posted that the Jamaicans had qualified -- then the tweet was deleted.

According to NBC Sports' Nick Zaccardi, only 30 teams qualify for the Olympics, and Jamaica is currently ranked 30th. However, Zaccardi reports, only the top 26 are guaranteed a spot in the field.

Regardless, Watts remains optimistic -- both in regards to qualifying and funding.

"I'm not a person who likes to quit," Watts told the AP. "I put my heart into it and I know for a fact that people are going to help this team."

 
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