An Op-Ed Slammed Olympic Diversity, But A Jamaican Bobsledder Sees A Reason To Celebrate

"When you grow up and you don’t see that, you feel that you can’t do it."

This year's Winter Olympics are set to be the most diverse in history, but the event is being met with unfortunate but expected backlash. This week, an op-ed was pulled from Fox News' website — written by Executive Vice President John Moody — that challenged the Olympic Committee's focus on inclusivity and said that this year's U.S. team "did not reflect" the network's values. But amid this controversy, Olympian Jazmine Fenlator- Victorian's comments at a press conference this weekend were a much-needed reminder of why diversity in sports matters. 

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Speaking in Pyeongchang, Fenlator-Victorian noted that it's important that "little girls and little boys see someone that looks like them, talks like them, has the same culture as them, has crazy, curly hair and wears a natural, has brown skin, included in different things in this world. When you grow up and you don't see that, you feel that you can't do it. And that is not right."

Fenlator-Victorian is half of Jamaica's first women's bobsled team to ever qualify for the Winter Olympics. Per HuffPost, the athlete previously represented the U.S. before switching her affiliation to her father's home country for this year's games. Fenlator-Victorian and teammate Carrie Russell qualified just weeks ago with a bobsled named "Cool Bolt," named for the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and the film about the 1988 Jamaican men's bobsled team, Cool Runnings.  

"Coming back home to Jamaica, I wanted my Jamaican people to see that they could do it," she said. "And there's not just one path that way or one path this way to get out of poverty, to make money or to make a name for themselves. If they want to be a Winter Olympian and do alpine skiing, now they see their fellow Jamaicans in the Winter Olympics."

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