Jackson man coaches first-ever Jamaican Skeleton competitor at O - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson man coaches first-ever Jamaican Skeleton competitor at Olympics

Source: Allen Blackwell Source: Allen Blackwell
Source: NBC Source: NBC
Source: Allen Blackwell Source: Allen Blackwell
Source: NBC Source: NBC
Source: Allen Blackwell Source: Allen Blackwell
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A retired Jackson athlete is coaching Jamaica's first ever skeleton slider.  

Allen Blackwell is ready to bring out the best in the competitor who will try to bring home a medal in one of the Olympics' wildest sports. 

Anthony Watson has been in training for the ride of his life. The Olympic hopeful gave up the luge to forge head first down an icy course at blistering speeds.

During our recent Skype interview from Salt Lake City, his coach Allen Blackwell described the sport in his light-hearted manner. 

"What the skeleton is, is we essentially go head first down an ice track around 80 miles per hour on a sled that is kind of like a cafeteria tray," explained Blackwell.

Blackwell was a skilled competitor in the skeleton event but didn't qualify for the competition, so friends asked him to coach. 

"The fact that I was able to help one of the athletes qualify and actually make their dream of making the Olympics happen, that is absolutely the most rewarding thing I've done in my life," said Blackwell.

Watson, from Jamaica, had a perfect season. 

Blackwell flew over to South Korea not knowing for sure if he would be Anthony Watson's coach or not.  

PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018

A lot was going on behind the scenes.

"He's got a personal best at every single track now," said Blackwell. "Personal best start times, personal best down times. The best finishes he's ever had before. That's what it is with the Olympics, You have to turn it on the year of the games."

The skeleton trials began Tuesday in PyeongChang and Blackwell is hoping his 28-year old protege will make history on Valentines Day.

It's a dream Watson has had since he was six and the sledder is ready to reward his country with a win. 

As for his coach...

"A proud mama bird watching my baby fly off from the nest for the first time," explained Blackwell. "There he goes! I remember him back when when he was just a little fledgling and didn't know what to do. Now here he is on the world stage, representing his country."

You can bet his entire country will be watching, waving their flag in support of the first Jamaican in the skeleton competition at the Olympics. 

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