Olympic Movie Monday – Cool Runnings

While not of Academy Award caliber, "Cool Runnings" is a fun and inspiring movie based on the first Jamaican bobsled team trying to make it to the Winter Olympics. Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Michael White and Samuel Clayton are the real names of the members of the first Jamaican bobsled team. Their names and certain events were changed in the movie. But I challenge anyone who watches this movie to just try to keep their emotions intact during the climactic ending scene which is filled with real footage of the actual bobsled crash.

With a cast that includes Leon, Doug W. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis and Malik Yoba as fictional racers Derrice Bannock, Sanka Coffie, Junior Bevil, Yul Brenner and John Candy as disgraced athlete, and the team's reluctant trainer Irving Blitzer, "Cool Runnings" movie takes viewers on their own crazy ride. This movie was released in 1993 and directed by John Turteltaub. Lynn Siefert, Tommy Swerdlow and Michael Goldberg wrote the screenplay. As their story goes, Irv is a former gold medal bobsledder who became a disgraced Olympic athlete who had his gold medal rescinded. Years later, Derice Bannock, son to a former friend of Irv, fails to qualify for the 100-yard sprint for the Olympics. But Bannok's dream to become an Olympic athlete remains whole. He vows to get to the Olympics, if not as a sprinter, then as a bobsledder. After some starting problems, the first Jamaican bobsledding team is formed and heads for Calgary. Team spirit, Jamaican pride and an infusion of self-confidence leads to excitement, letdown and surprises during the Winter Games.

The backdrop for this Olympic movie gem is the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

There are many exciting firsts surrounding this Olympiad. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME:

1. Canada hosts the Winter Olympics.

2. The Winter Games were extended to 16 days, including three weekends.

3. The Alpine events were expanded from three to five with the inclusion of the super giant slalom and the Alpine combined.

4. Jamaica was entered in a bobsled event!

Get in the Olympic spirit and watch "Cool Runnings" today. You won't be sorry.