There is a Disney Channel original movie from 1993 about the first Jamaican bobsled team. It’s called ‘Cool Runnings’ and I am obsessed with it. It’s not what I would technically call a “good” movie. It’s kind of overracted, a little ridiculous, and so so so good.
Every four years, when it’s time for the Winter Olympics, I can’t stop thinking about Cool Runnings. And it’s kind of awkward to be constantly thinking about an early 90’s Disney Channel original movie for two solid weeks every four years.
The movie is very loosely based off of the real story of the Jamaican national bobsled team’s first run in the Winter Olympics during the Calgary Olympics in 1988. It was the first time Jamaica had ever been in the winter Olympics, and the team was made up of four men recruited from the military because of their sprinting abilities by two Americans. In the actual, non-fictional Olympics, the team came in 30th out of 41 teams in the two-man event, finishing to massive applause and an audience who loved their story, and they crashed during the four man event, pushing their sled across the finish line, with the support of the crowd.
I’m not what you would call a “sports person” so sports movies have never been my thing. But I do love a good underdog story. And what’s more underdog then forming a bobsled team for the Olympics full of people who have never physically seen a bobsled?
There is a scene in the film where the coach is talking with one of the sledders, trying to work up his confidence. It’s maybe one of my favorite cinematic scenes of all time. It’s empowering and smart and funny, and I still watch it sometimes before big exams to psych myself up. No shame.
The movie also features what is possibly one of the catchiest little song-lets to ever exist. Every so often I still find myself humming along to the tune of “Jamaica! We have a bobsled team!” Once you hear it, you’ll never be able to un-hear it.
I decided that my goal for the 2014 Winter Olympics was to get as many people as I could to watch Cool Runnings. It’s no cinematic masterpiece, but it’s fun and it’s goofy and it sure as anything makes me smile. Plus it’s endlessly quotable- and doesn’t everyone want to be constantly quoting vaguely obscure movies from the early 90’s all the time?
So…. Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up! It’s bobsled time!
No, but seriously, ya’ll should watch it because it’s super great and funny.