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Cool Runnings

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Cool Runnings and Beyond

"A story of sporting excellence"
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Cool Runnings Comparison

Cool Runnings vs. The Hottest Thing On Ice

From the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation’s (JBF) perspective, the movie Cool Runnings was well done and entertaining. The rating, and content are consistent with the values which the JBF wishes to promote. While there are those who may see some parts as disrespectful to the team and/or the athletes, the JBF is of the view that the movie was done with the object of building up not braking down and of acknowledging the humour in the story without going to the ridiculous. Still, Cool Runnings is a movie about real events, not a documentary on the events themselves. So that there was no direct portrayal of any athlete, coach, administrator etc. Yet the movie represented aspects of events and various individuals well. While, then, the movie was not an exact history, it certainly captured the spirit of the 1988 Jamaica Bobsleigh Team and related events. The JBF gives this movie two thumbs up.
Here are a few comparisons between the Movie and the Real Team:

The bobsleigh team included a local champ from the traditional push-cart derby.

Real Team
The characters were largely composites of the actual team members and not a direct role play of each athlete on the team. While the push cart derby did inspire the formation of the team, there were no push cart competitors on the original team. Subsequently though, Ricky McIntosh, who competed in the Push Cart Derby was part of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team in 1992 and 1994. He also competed as a Skeleton athlete on the Intercontinental Cup circuit.

After viewing a film of violent bobsleigh crashes, team participants vacated the room

Real Team
In the movie, the room emptied. In fact, perhaps five of the 40 applicants bid polite adieus, while most others simply did not return.

The '88 team was coached by an ex-USA Olympic Bobsledder
Real Team
The real coach, Howard Siler, was a five time US champion, not the race throwing remorseful character portrayed by John Candy.

Olympic teams complained bitterly about the Jamaicans' participation

Real Team
Virtually every team was supportive, particularly the British which had several team members with Caribbean heritage. Some of the traditional teams such as the East Germans, posed some resistance based on the fear that an inexperienced team would tear up the ice. The governing body for the sport, the FIBT under President Kotter, a German, resisted the participation of Jamaica in the sport of Bobsleigh through his presidency. Subsequent administrations under President Bob Storey from Canada, have made an extraordinary effort to develop Jamaica's participation in Bobsleigh

Athletes were trained for the sport in an ice-cream truck freezer, in the bathtub, and pushing a Volkswagen bug. Real Team No freezers, bathtubs or bugs. Training was based on traditional training techniques.

After the crash, the Jamaicans carried their sled across the finish line Real Team
The sled was pushed across the finish line by a track crew.


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