Threadbone Corporation sponsored Team Dorset - the county's 4 man bobsled team and sole representatives in this year's Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang have today denied "a gulf in class and technology" between themselves and the leading teams. Despite being more than an hour and three-quarters behind their nearest rivals Burkina Fasso, team principle Bengt Blades believes that bad luck alone accounts for the unprecedented gap between pilot Bob Sledd's boys and the rest of the field. Down by an average of 55 seconds at the end of the "push off" of every run, the split times have consistently revealed a team losing pace at (literally) every turn: "a worrying pattern" says Talksport Hampreston's Winter Olympics Correspondent Jimmy Five-Rings, "especially if you are trying to finish in the top 80 and before it goes dark".
Embarrassment is now understood to be so widespread that the continuance of Threadbone Corporation sponsorship is under serious threat. "No corporation, however, idiosyncratically run wants to be associated with "failure" and I'm afraid that's not too strong a word in this case" said Olympic President and sports finance "expert" Juan Antonio Avalanche. "Failing to finish on the same day and in the same general area as the leaders has to be considered poor form, however you explain it", he added.
Bengt Blades remains adamant, however, insisting that his team's inability to stay on the same track as the other competitors, steer round corners and remain upright for the duration of the entire course are merely manifestations of poor fortune. "It's not just a matter of letting go and leaving it to gravity", he added. "It's far more complicated than that - you have to get inside the sled for one thing and whilst its true we haven't always got that right (Brake man Max Dragg finished a further 35 minutes behind his colleagues on the Third Run having solo'ed on and off the track on his backside), we are trying very hard to join up all the dots".
"Even so, so much depends on luck and it hasn't gone our way... We've been unlucky with disruptions to our training schedules, unlucky with the weather, unlucky with our starts, unlucky with the track conditions and above all unlucky with the enormous gulf in class and technology between ourselves and all the other teams".
Team Dorset deny that technology is hampering their efforts to break the 1 hour 10 minutes barrier for the 4 man bobsled competition though even to the untutored eye Bob Sledd and his boys [LEFT] look to be off the technological pace [RIGHT] . Their sled, "Amanda 1" was designed by Threadbone Laboratories scientists and is modelled on drawings rescued from Berlin in 1945. Asked if things "might have moved on" since then, a rueful Chief Designer Werner von Brain said: "well somethings might have though clearly not us".