SOUTH FLORIDA – Jamaica’s ice hockey team recorded a historic win in the 2019 Amerigol LATAM Cup on September 8, 2019.
The young Jamaican team defeated defending champion Colombia with a score of 3-2 at the Florida Panthers IceDen stadium in Coral Springs, Florida.
The LATAM Cup Tournament included over 400 players and 21 teams in four divisions, consisting of teams mostly from Central and South America.
Jamaica’s team – which also beat the likes of Argentina, Brazil and Mexico in the lead up to the Latam Cup finals – is mostly comprised of players of Jamaican lineage who live and play in North America.
This was the team’s first time playing in a major international tournament and considering that Jamaica doesn’t even have an ice rink, their victory came as a surprise to many.
Minister of Sports in Jamaica Olivia Grange, who was in Florida to cheer on the team, congratulated them for “a splendid display in which you created history”.
She said, “Jamaica continues to show the rest of the world how good we can be in sports which are not traditional to us and I really want our senior men’s ice hockey team to know how proud we are of what they have accomplished on the ice.”
Grange said the Jamaica Ice Hockey Federation must also be highly commended for the fine showing of the team.
Jamaica’s Consulate General to Miami, Oliver Mair, who also witnessed the victory in person, was equally impressed.
“When I made the announcement that Jamaica was going to play in hockey everybody was, like, ‘Who? Jamaica?’ I mean, the bobsled thing happened years ago but ice hockey, this is a surprise,” Mair said.
Following their win, younger Jamaicans living at home and abroad are now motivated to participate and represent their island in non-traditional sports.
Oh, yes, the Jamaican national bobsleigh team first gained fame during their debut in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games four-man bobsled in Calgary, Alberta, where they were seen as underdogs as they represented a tropical nation in a winter sport.