Amidst the preparations and extensive COVID-19 testing that all athletes headed to the Olympic Winter Games must go through, bobsledder Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian took a moment to reflect on qualifying for her third Olympics. She will represent Jamaica in the inaugural women’s monobob event. Jamaica is also the first alternate for the two-woman bobsled. The sleds have already been shipped to Beijing and Fenlator-
Victorian’s brakeman is on standby to go to China should a spot come open.
Fenlator-Victorian was born and raised in New Jersey and ran track at Rider University. She began competing in bobsled about 15 years ago and represented the U.S. in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Subsequently, she decided to represent her father’s homeland of Jamaica, marking that country’s debut in the two-woman bobsled at the 2018 Games. She has always felt a deep connection to her roots and is excited for the debut of the monobob.
“I would argue monobob is the most difficult sliding event to drive and drive well,” she said. “It truly takes the full package bobsledder to be successful in top performance from the push to the drive to the strategy of equipment.
“I’m honestly looking forward to competing against the world’s best as well as embracing the entire inaugural appearance,” she added. “There are not many people who can say they have qualified and competed in three Olympics. I’m going to soak up every minute of the experience.”
The Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation does not have the resources of USA Bobsled, so Fenlator-Victorian has often been left to finance her own training and competition. Her collaboration with YIB The Brand has been exciting and brought some much-needed funding. She feels tremendous pride representing a Caribbean nation on the Winter Olympics stage.
“Representation matters so much; we need to raise silenced voices as well as make space for diversity,” said Fenlator-Victorian. “I’m proud that I have been able to trailblaze, but my goal was never to be the first. In fact, I think it is a bit sad that in 2022 I’m the first to do something as a Black Caribbean.
“Expanding qualification spots and providing a more level playing field…can be a great impact on the future of female participation and longevity in the sport,” she continued. “I hope seeing a brown and Black female in my space inspires others they can too and I hope that my story ignites more open conversations that lead to change.”