For the first time in over two decades, Jamaica is sending a 4-man bobsled team to the Olympics. Fans of the sport (or of John Candy) might remember that it was actually in Canada that the team first competed, during the Calgary Winter Olympics back in 1988.
That fateful trip kicked off a long-standing history of Jamaica competing in the winter games- since then, Jamaica has participated in almost every Winter Olympics across a variety of sports, with Turin 2004 being the sole exception. Of course, it’s the 4-man bobsled that the country is now known for. And, they haven’t qualified for that since 1998, during the Nagano Winter Olympics.
JAMAICA, WE HAVE A BOBSLED TEAM HEADING TO BEIJING! 📣
It will be fire on ice as #TeamJamaica 🇯🇲 secured their spot at the 2022 Beijing #WinterOlympics. This will be the 1st time JAM has qualified in 3 Olympic bobsled events: four-man, two-man and women’s monobob pic.twitter.com/hRd5h7lDlG
— Team Jamaica (@TeamJA876) January 17, 2022
But their popularity owes thanks, in large part, to the 1993 Disney movie Cool Runnings. Starring John Candy, the beloved movie is an adaptation of Jamaica’s Winter Olympics hopefuls as they train for the ’88 Olympics. Ironically, one character’s pushcart derby backstory still resonates today- while training in London last year, one expected team member ending up pushing a Mini Cooper around to stay in top form.
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Regardless of how they trained, the Jamaica 4-man bobsled team managed to qualify for this year’s Winter Olympics. And, as the date fast approaches (the bobsled events run from February 13th to 20th), we think we’ve got a new underdog that we’re going to cheer on.
But, here’s where you can help out. While Jamaica has done everything it can to get their athletes to the games this year, they need a little help from their fans. Turns out, bobsleds are seriously expensive (like, $140,000 USD expensive), and they want to get new ones for some of their athletes, including the 4 man team. If you’re feeling generous, you can check out a newly created GoFundMe to get them the equipment they deserve.
Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time!