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Cool Runnings is a comedy film directed by Jon Turteltaub. It is loosely based on the true story of the Jamaica national bobsled team's debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgarymarker, Albertamarker. It stars Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Malik Yoba, Rawle D. Lewis, and John Candy.


Irving "Irv" Blitzer is an Americanmarker bobsled double gold medalist at the 1968 Winter Olympics, who finished first in two events again in 1972 but was disqualified for cheating and retired in disgrace to Jamaicamarker, where he leads a destitute life as a bookie. He is approached by top 100m runner Derice Bannock, who failed to qualify for the 1988 Summer Olympics when another opponent, Junior Bevil, tripped at the trials, and pushcart driving champion Sanka Coffie, who both wish to use his previous experience as a coach in order to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics as bobsledders. Irv had been good friends with Derice's father, Ben, a former sprinter whom Irv had tried to recruit for the bobsled team years ago. Yul Brenner, another runner who was tripped at the qualifier by Junior, also joins the team. After Irv is convinced to coach the team, the three months of practice begins, initially resulting in embarrassment. However, the four men acclimate to the sport and travel to Calgary and the Olympics.

The Jamaicans' first day on the track results in, once more, embarrassment, and a last-place finish. The second day proves better; the Jamaican team finishes with a fast time which puts them in eighth position. For the first half of the final day's race it looks as though they will break the world bobsled speed record, until tragedy strikes; their sled, due to one of the blades falling off, flips on its side coming out of a turn towards the end of their run, leaving them meters short of the finish line. However, the team lifts their sled up and walks across the finish line to rousing applause from onlookers. The team, at the end, feels accomplished enough to return in four years to the next winter Olympics. A brief epilogue states the team returned to Jamaica as heroes, and upon their return to the Winter Olympics four years later, they were treated as equals.


Box office

The film had total domestic earnings of $68,856,263 in the United States and Canada, and $86,000,000 internationally, for a total of $154,856,263.

Real-life discrepancies


The bobsledders portrayed in the film are fictional, although the people who conceived the idea of a Jamaican bobsled team were inspired by pushcart racers and tried to recruit top track sprinters. However, they did not find any elite sprinters interested in competing and instead recruited four sprinters from the Army for the team.

Irving Blitzer is a fictional character; the real team had several trainers, none of whom were connected to any cheating scandal. At the time of the movie's release, the United Statesmarker had not won a gold medal in Bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics since the four-man event in 1948. The double gold medalist in bobsleigh at the 1968 Winter Olympics was Italymarker's Eugenio Monti.


A fictional sports governing body, the "International Alliance of Winter Sports" appears in the film. (In reality, every winter sport has its own separate governing body.) Also, "England" is listed on the board shown in the tavern in Jamaica, whereas in the Olympic Games, English athletes actually compete as members of the Great Britainmarker team.


The bobsled competition in the film consists of three individual runs, whereas in reality the Olympic bobsled competition is two runs a day held over a two-day period.

In the film, the Jamaicans are on world-record pace during the final run of the competition when their sled crashes. They emerge from the sled and carry it across the finish line. In real life, however, the crash occurred before the finals (disqualifying the Jamaicans) and Jamaica was not on a world-record pace. After the crash, the team walked next to their sled as track officials slid it down the track.

See also


  1. YouTube Video of the real 1988 Jamaican Bobsled Team's crash

External links

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