Blog
Categories
© Tirol Werbung / Rodler Ilvy
Food & Drink
© Tirol Werbung / Hörterer Lisa
Companies
© Bert Heinzelmeier
People
© Tirol Werbung / Schreyer David
Architecture
© Tirol Werbung / Aichner Bernhard
Arts & Culture
© Tirol Werbung / Moore Casey
Recommendations
© Tirol Werbung / Haindl Ramon
Feel Good
© Tirol Werbung / Webhofer Mario
Nature
© Tirol Werbung / Herbig Hans
Family
© Tirol Werbung / Schwarz Jens
Bits & Pieces
© Tirol Werbung / Neusser Peter
Sports
Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe
Specials

Cool Runnings Reloaded in Tirol: Interview with the Jamaican Bobsled Team

10.02.2016 in People


                   Das jamaikanische Zweierbob-Team raste im Dezember 2015 beim Training durch den Eiskanal von Innsbruck-Igls. Sein Ziel: Die Qualifikation für die Bob- & Skeleton-WM im Februar 2016. (Foto: OEBSV)
                Das jamaikanische Zweierbob-Team raste im Dezember 2015 beim Training durch den Eiskanal von Innsbruck-Igls. Sein Ziel: Die Qualifikation für die Bob- & Skeleton-WM im Februar 2016. (Foto: OEBSV)

Jamaica’s third biggest “brand” next to reggae and Bob Marley is bobsledding. A tropical island in the Caribbean and bobsledding?

The tale of the bobsled team from Jamaica who triumphed against the odds to compete at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics is embedded in pop culture more than a quarter of a century on. The story has been passed on to new generations thanks in no small part to the phenomenal success of the 1993 film ‘Cool Runnings’. The tale – Hollywood or otherwise – has received another lease of life after the Jamaicans qualified for Sochi, reaching the Winter Olympics for the first time since Salt Lake City 12 years ago. In February 2016, the Jamaican bobsled team is looking to capture some of the “Cool Runnings” magic that enshrined the Caribbean nation’s legacy in the sport, this time at competing in the Bobsled & Skeleton World Championships in Tirol.

The coach of the Jamaican bobsled team is a famous face. Devon Harris is one of the members of the original 1988 team who competed in the first Jamaican four-man bobsleigh in history at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. Together with the current two-man bobsleigh team, Joel Alexander and Tyrone Mullings, he visited the Olympic Bobsleigh Run in Innsbruck/Igls in December 2015.


                   Joel Alexander (Pilot) und Tyrone Mullings (Anschieber/Bremser) beim ersten Training in Innsbruck-Igls. 
                Joel Alexander (Pilot) und Tyrone Mullings (Anschieber/Bremser) beim ersten Training in Innsbruck-Igls.


                   Devon Harris macht ein Selfie mit seinen beiden Schützlingen Joel Alexander und Tyrone Mullings. (Fotos: OEBSV)
                Devon Harris macht ein Selfie mit seinen beiden Schützlingen Joel Alexander und Tyrone Mullings. (Fotos: OEBSV)

“The training session was pretty great although we crashed twice”

After their first training session at the Olympic Bobsleigh Run in Igls, the Jamaican Bobsled Team went to the Tirol Shop for a team fitting session and gave us an interview.

How do you like your outfit from the Tirol Shop?
Harris: It’s amazing, almost better than our team uniforms (laughing).
You arrived in Innsbruck yesterday. How was your first training session here today? 
Alexander: It was pretty great and fun although we crashed twice. I mean, there’s nothing to complain about it. It’s like the fastest track we have ever had.
So you want to compete at the 2016 Bobsled & Skeleton World Championships in Tirol?
Harris: Yes, we are very excited and we would love to go all out for glory at the Worlds. We do our best to strengthen the sport of bobsledding in Jamaica.

“Go Chase Your Palace”

Cool Runnings is an American cult classic based on the true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team—but how much of it is true? How much of the movie diverges from the real story that took place in Calgary in 1988? Even today, more than a quarter of a century on, www.coolrunnings.org is the official site of the Jamaican bobsled team. Today’s “Cool Runnings” team and his coach, founding member of the original team, answer questions on what really happened and how the film helped the Jamaican Bobsled Team become a global phenomenon.

Two words are the first things that come to people’s mind when they think of the Jamaican Bobsled Team: Cool Runnings.
Harris: Oh really. What makes you think that? (laughing)
What do you think of the movie now, in the year 2015?
Alexander: Oh, it’s legendary. It is the first thing anybody would ask us. You know, it goes like: So you guys got an egg? That movie really put us on the map in many ways. It really served Jamaica bobsled very well.
How much does this movie have to do with your career?
Alexander: Well, the only difference from the movie I notice is that we expect to win and there is no telling there from that.
What is your favourite quote from this movie?
Harris: Well there are so many. I guess, you know, as a motivational speaker it would be “Go chase your palace“. And this is really the essence of Jamaican bobsled we send to people from all over the world. It doesn’t matter where you are from and what the challenges are or what the obstacles are. Wherever your palace is, you should go and chase it.


                   Das jamaikanische Zweierbob-Team raste im Dezember 2015 beim Training durch den Eiskanal von Innsbruck-Igls. Sein Ziel: Die Qualifikation für die Bob- & Skeleton-WM im Februar 2016. (Foto: OEBSV)
                Das jamaikanische Zweierbob-Team raste im Dezember 2015 beim Training durch den Eiskanal von Innsbruck-Igls. Sein Ziel: Die Qualifikation für die Bob- & Skeleton-WM im Februar 2016. (Foto: OEBSV)

“There were times when we didn’t have our own bobsleigh”

“Feel the Rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time!” Do you guys actually say that in real life?
Harris: We didn’t do the ‘Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Rhyme’ thing. That’s fiction. We did adapt some of the timing things and made it our own. In reality, we have a similar approach to preparing ourselves at the start as the Austrian team and all other teams.
Bobsledding is a very expensive sport, a new racing bobsleigh costs about 100,000 Dollars, that’s more than 90,000 Euros.
Harris: Yes, there were times when we didn’t have our own bobsleigh. This season we haven’t got our own either – up to now. We have to rent a bobsleigh.
What is your aim for the 2016 Bobsled & Skeleton World Championships in Tirol?
Alexander: We want to win.
How are your chances of winning?
Alexander: It’s my first time on this track, so we will see what happens during training. But whatever happens, we compete to win.
Mullings: If we really work hard, we can make it.

“The only difference from the movie I notice is that we expect to win and there is no telling there from that.”“The only difference from the movie I notice is that we expect to win and there is no telling there from that.”

The First Jamaican to Win a Medal at an Olympic Winter Games

Up to now, no Jamaican bobsleigh team stood on the podium at World Championships or Olympic Winter Games. Lascelles Brown, however, is the first Jamaican to win a medal at an Olympic Winter Games, but he has had his greatest success while wearing the maple leaf for Canada. Considered one of the most powerful brakemen in all of bobsleigh, Lascelles Brown has competed internationally for three different countries. His bobsleigh career began in his native Jamaica, for whom he competed at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Games. That same year he moved to Canada and began representing his new home in 2004. Brown’s impact was immediate, as he earned two-man gold and four-man bronze with pilot Pierre Lueders at the 2005 World Championships. In January 2006, Brown was granted Canadian citizenship and less than a month later he stood on the podium at the Turin 2006 Olympic Winter Games, having won silver in the two-man event with Lueders. Continuing with the Canadian team, Brown would compete at his third Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and won his second Olympic medal, capturing bronze in the four-man event. After two seasons competing for Monaco, Brown returned to the Canadian team in preparation for Sochi 2014, where he finished ninth in both the two-man and four-man events.

The Goal: Qualifying for the 2016 Bobsled & Skeleton World Championships in Tirol

Even if Joel Alexander and Tyrone Mullings don’t win a medal at the 2016 Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Championships  in Tirol, they will carry on. They are determined to compete and they dream big to take their game to the next level. By the way, with their Innsbruck visit, things have come full circle for the Jamaican Bobsled Team: The first coach of the original Olympic bobsled team of Jamaica who competed at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary was Tirolean.

For more details on the 2016 Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Championships in Tirol please refer to www.tyrol.com/events

Photo Credits: Österreichischer Bob- und Skeletonverband

When he is not working, Michael Gams is out exploring this beautiful country, hiking, mountain biking, freeriding and ski touring to the most beautiful spots in Tirol.

Last article from Michael
Ramolhaus hut.
Updated on 07.06.2021 in Architecture
Five Alpine Association Huts for Architecture Lovers
4 min reading time
Kufsteinerland, Erl, Hotel Blaue Quelle, Fisch
Updated on 17.03.2021 in Food & Drink
Five taverns with homegrown produce
3 min reading time
stubaier-gletscher-3s_03
Updated on 16.03.2021 in Bits & Pieces
Bye Bye T-Bar, Hello Tri-Cable Gondola.
4 min reading time
Axamer Lizum
Updated on 09.02.2021 in Sports
How to Be a Better Skier: 9 Ways to Improve Your Skiing
10 min reading time
The record breaking 406 meter long suspension footbridge connects remarkable Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble with the remains of the 17th-century Roman Fortress Claudia in the market town of Reutte at a dizzying height of 110 meters. (Photography: Naturparkregion Reutte)
Updated on 29.10.2020 in Recommendations
21 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Tirol
2 min reading time
Scheffau/Kaisergebirge/Wilder Kaiser, Hintersteiner See
Updated on 14.12.2018 in Nature
Five Hikes for Water Lovers
2 min reading time
Snowshoeing in Hochfilzen, Pillerseetal Valley. (Photo: Tirol Werbung)
Updated on 10.12.2018 in Recommendations
Top Ten Places for a White Christmas in Tirol
4 min reading time
Florentine_Fuerst@Sonnenaufgangswanderung_Itter_-_Kitzbueheler_Alpen
Updated on 31.10.2018 in Recommendations
11 Perfect Shots: Sunrise in the Mountains
4 min reading time
Schloss Tratzberg (c) W9 Studios, Tirol Werbung
Updated on 22.10.2018 in Arts & Culture
Discover the Myths and Legends of Tratzberg Castle
3 min reading time
DSC03276 (2014_07_24 17_33_49 UTC)
Updated on 01.10.2018 in Recommendations
I am Off. To Vent, the Mountaineering Village
4 min reading time
Portrait Vreni Meijerink (c) Bert Heinzlmeier
Updated on 31.07.2018 in People
One of 757 thousand: How Vreni from Holland came to Tirol
6 min reading time
Maeusebussard-1500px-1024×683
Updated on 27.06.2018 in Nature
Out in the Wild. Wildlife Photography Stories from the Field
7 min reading time
Great Trails_Soelden_Leiterberg
Updated on 19.05.2018 in Sports
Five Epic Singletrack Trails
3 min reading time
Bernhard Neumann_Olperer_Gipfelgrat
Updated on 09.05.2018 in People
Summit Stories: Bernhard Neumann and Olperer Mountain
9 min reading time
Ötztal, Niederthai, Le Miracle, Niederthai
Updated on 08.05.2018 in Sports
Five Climbing Routes for Total Rock Jocks
4 min reading time
Updated on 04.04.2018 in Family
Five Family Adventures
3 min reading time
Kilian Scheiber_Wildspitze Portrait
Updated on 12.03.2018 in People
Summit Stories: Kilian Scheiber and Wildspitze Mountain
10 min reading time
St. Anton am Arlberg_Galzigbahn
Updated on 20.02.2018 in Recommendations
A Day In The Snow: Skiing St. Anton.
11 min reading time
Updated on 04.12.2017 in Family
Winter holiday through a photographer’s lens
1 min reading time
Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung/Peter Neusser
Updated on 05.07.2017 in Sports
10 Reasons Why You Should Try Canyoning
3 min reading time
Stunning views of Venet Massif, ringed by Swiss stone pine forest. (Photo Credit: Eva Thöni)
Updated on 04.07.2017 in Sports
The Best Fall Hikes in Tirol
7 min reading time
Portrait_Sara_(c) Carlos Blanchard_S34B5610
Updated on 03.07.2017 in People
One Out of 757 Thousand: How Sara came to Tirol from Sweden
9 min reading time
Bergfuehrer_Matthias Wurzer_Gipfel Großglockner (c) Tirol Werbung_Jens Schwarz
Updated on 28.06.2017 in People
Summit Stories: Matthias Wurzer and Großglockner Mountain
9 min reading time
Left behind the snowcapped spire is our destination: The Summit of Großvenediger.
Updated on 27.06.2017 in People
Summit Stories: Sigi Hatzer and Großvenediger Mountain
9 min reading time
Left behind the snowcapped spire is our destination: The Summit of Großvenediger.
Updated on 27.06.2017 in People
New Blog Series: Mountain Guide Summit Stories
5 min reading time
Ort:
Updated on 20.03.2017 in Family
The ABC’s of Skiing With Kids
6 min reading time
Skigebiet Alpbach in Tirol
Updated on 20.02.2017 in Recommendations
A Day In The Snow: Skiing in Alpbach
10 min reading time
Biathlon Schnuppern 1
Updated on 19.01.2017 in Sports
Why Biathlon is Worth a Shot: Biathlon Clinics for Beginners
4 min reading time
Free Your Heel, Free Your Mind: Telemark Pro Marc Künkele in Hintertux. (Photo Credit: Martin Rainer)
Updated on 05.12.2016 in Sports
Tele-Ho: Learning To Free Your Heel
8 min reading time
DSC_0055
Updated on 01.06.2016 in Sports
What to Bring: The Ultimate Multi-Day Hiking Packing List
3 min reading time
Oscar kocht Innsbruck_Titelbild_1280px
Updated on 07.04.2016 in People
One out of 757 thousand: How Oscar came to Tirol from Mexico
7 min reading time
Beckna Harakiri schmal
Updated on 21.03.2016 in Recommendations
A Day In The Snow: Snowboarding in Mayrhofen
8 min reading time
Figl
Updated on 17.02.2016 in Sports
Figl – That’s the Answer
4 min reading time
2013-2014 saw the severest winter of the century so far: Obertilliach, East Tirol.
Updated on 21.12.2015 in Nature
Where is Tirol’s Snowiest Place of the Past 30 Years?
3 min reading time
1_Skifahren in Ischgl_Pardatschgrat
Updated on 02.12.2015 in Recommendations
A Day In The Snow: Skiing Ischgl
5 min reading time
All articles from Michael
2 comments available
Write comment

Keep reading

Go up
Is your inbox in need of a holiday?

Then subscribe to our weekly newsletter full of exclusive holiday tips from Tirol!