Red Stripe comes to the rescue of Jamaican bobsled team at Winter Olympics

Jamaican bobsled team to compete at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
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Jamaican bobsled team to compete at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The Jamaican bobsled team needed a new sled just days before competing in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

And, in an amazing twist, a Jamaican beer company stepped up to provide it.

Red Stripe, which is based in the nation's capital of Kingston, has supplied a sled for the Jamaican bobsled team to use in competition early next week after the dramatic departure of driver coach Sandra Kiriasis left the team without a sled. Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation spokesperson Kathleen Pulito confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that the team has accepted Red Stripe's offer of a new sled and is preparing the sled for competition.

"We are in possession of the sled, which is a gift from Red Stripe," Pulito told USA TODAY Sports.

Andrew Anguin, a senior marketing manager for Red Stripe, told USA TODAY Sports in an e-mail that the company is working with the federation to determine the final price of the sled.

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The company's offer started as

, with Red Stripe tagging the Jamaican bobsled team in a tweet and telling it to put the new sled on the company's "tab." But then Anguin clarified that the offer was serious and the company had been attempting to connect with the team.

"As a beer born and brewed on the same island as these athletes, we want to ensure they have what they need to proudly compete," Anguin wrote in a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.

By Thursday evening, Pulito told USA TODAY Sports that the team had, in fact, reached out to Red Stripe about the offer.

The need for a sled stemmed from the departure of Kiriasis, a 43-year-old former Olympic gold-medal winner from Germany who "elected not to continue her position," earlier this week, according to the federation. In a statement posted to her Facebook page, Kiriasis claimed she was asked to switch roles from driver coach to "track and performance analyst," a lesser role that would have limited her interactions with the athletes.

Kiriasis wrote in the post that, among other things, she had secured sponsors for the Jamaican team and rented its sled in Winterberg, Germany, for use in Pyeongchang. BBC reported that she had claimed she was legally responsible for the sled and was seeking payment for it.

The kerfuffle ultimately left Jamaica without the necessary equipment to compete. And that's where Red Stripe came in.