Hamilton, Perry Honor Jamaican Bobsled License Plate

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Jesse Hamilton

Brooklyn, NY – NYS Senator Jesse Hamilton and Assemblymember Nick Perry commended the NYS Senate and Assembly for passing his legislation (Senate Bill 4019-A) and (Assembly Bill A2923) allowing for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to issue “Jamaican bobsled team” commemorative license plates. Under the proposal, any person residing in New York State would be able to request this commemorative plate for an additional $25 annually, honoring both the team and the Jamaican American community in New York as a whole

The creation and sale of a “Jamaica Bobsled team” designed license plate aims to recognize the achievement of the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics team. New York State is the home to more than 300,000 Jamaican Americans according to the Census Bureau; New York is the state with the largest Jamaican American population. The commemorative plate will serve to provide residents an opportunity to support the significant linkages between Jamaica and New York and the country’s team journey to the Olympics.

“I am so proud to honor the national Jamaican bobsled team with the passing of this bill,” said New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton.  “Final passage of this legislation would allow us to recognize the many Jamaican immigrants residing in New York, and give them the opportunity to support the enduring connection between Jamaica and New York.”

The 1988 Olympic men’s Jamaican bobsled team gained global recognition and support as it represented the tropical island nation in this notorious winter sport. The team was composed of four athletes recruited from the Jamaica Defense Force: Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Michael White, and Chris Stokes, who went on to write the book Cool Runnings and Beyond- The story of the Jamaican Bobsleigh Team, upon which the Disney movie Cool Runnings is based. Before training for the Olympics, only half of the team members had ever seen snow, making them true underdogs in the competition. In what was a fantastic display of camaraderie, community and sportsmanship, many competing nations came together to offer advice to the Jamaican team, showing the world that the Olympics were eager to welcome Jamaica into the winter sports arena.

After their initial appearance in 1998, the national Jamaican bobsled team went on to compete in subsequent Winter Olympics and stunned many of their critics by finishing in 14th place in the 1994 Olympic Games, finishing ahead of Russia, the United States, Australia, and France. In 2018, the first women’s Jamaican bobsled team made their debut at the Winter Olympics, placing 18th overall.

About Senator Hamilton:

Senator Jesse Hamilton has spent his entire career helping people, including over 15 years as President of the School Board and District Leader. He is a husband, father, and public servant delivering and fighting for one of the most diverse Senate districts in New York State.

 

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