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The 2022 Jamaican Bobsled Team Still a “Cool Runnings”

Written by on February 27, 2022

The four-man Jamaican bobsled team made their Olympic debut 34 years ago, captivating the globe with their underdog story and inspiring the famous childhood classic “Cool Runnings.”

In the previous years, the team has had some success, including a surprise 14th-place result at the 1994 Olympics, but has not been able to qualify a four-man team since 1998.

That is, until this year, when a fresh foursome from Jamaica competed in Beijing, potentially winning over a whole new generation of fans. The team, which was led by Shanwayne Stephens and includes push athletes Rolando Reid, Ashley Watson, and Matthew Wekpe, has embraced the attention it has already received and is appreciative for the worldwide support.

“I think it’s everybody’s dream to represent their country and we’re here doing it, living it and breathing it,” Stephens said. “We just hope that we’ve done everybody proud. I mean, there’s a lot of people supporting us. There’s Jamaican, non-Jamaican, everybody that loves ‘Cool Runnings’ is supporting us. Just represent Jamaica and enjoy it while we’re here.

Not everybody gets this opportunity, so we just want to enjoy it.” And while the movie took a number of creative liberties, the team still seems to love it as much as millennials do. Wekpe even carries a plastic egg with him, and features it prominently in his Instagram profile picture, in an ode to the movie’s fictional brakeman Sanka Coffie. Or, you know, the “best pushcart driver in all of Jamaica.”

Of course, the squad isn’t just having a good time and making movie references. Jamaica qualified for the two-man event and the women’s monobob with a sled, and the country believes the best is yet to come.

“Our big plan for 2026 is to qualify for four events, two teams per event, and to have someone on the podium in 2030,” Chris Stokes, who was a member of the 1988 team and is now the president of the Jamaican bobsled federation, said in an interview with The Daily Mirror.

The 2022 Jamaica bobsled team finished the 2022 Beijing Olympics with a DNQ. The better the team performs this in the future, the closer the country is to achieving its ultimate goal.


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