It is not quite the Jamaican bobsled team, but the two-woman Irish bobsled team that takes to the ice in Vancouver today will be doing its own country just as proud.

Aoife Hoey and Clare Bergin will take part with 21 other teams. Hoey has already achieved a rare distinction, At 6 foot 4 inches she is the tallest female athlete at these winter games and may well be the tallest ever.

She is a former Irish triple jump champion, which used to be known as the hop skip and jump in the old days. No doubt that will come in handy when she needs to kick start the bobsled.

Bergen only took up the sport in 2008 and is a former 400 meters runner who took part in the European indoor championship last year.

Despite concerns about the track both women have expressed confidence it is safe. They reached speeds of 144 km per hour in training, their best ever speed -- and no the story circulating that the Irish bobsled team wanted the track gritted to slow it down is not true.