It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true – in 1988 a team from Jamaica competed in the Winter Olympics bobsleigh event, even though they had never seen snow before. This comedy Cool Runnings, which does play a little fast and loose with the facts, is based on their story, and is a feel-good delight.
When runner Derice (Leon) fails to qualify for the Jamaican Olympic team as a sprinter, he decides he’s going to compete in the Winter Olympics by forming a bobsleigh team with the help of a coach, Irv (Candy). No matter that there is no snow in Jamaica (a bathtub with wheels becomes the alternative to a real bobsleigh) or that he doesn’t have a team (he rounds up an old go-karting pal and two other misfits) or that they are laughed at by all the other teams when they arrive in Calgary to compete. It’s funny stuff about a quartet of plucky underdogs, and for those who scoff that it couldn’t possibly have happened, there’s also some footage of the real team included in this sweet little movie.
Is Cool Runnings suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...