Friday, February 12, 2010

The Jamaican Bobsled Team - 22 Years Later

As shocking as it may seem, it was 22 years ago this month that the four intrepid bobsledders from Jamaica, mon, rocked the winter sports world by showing up at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. Beset with prejudice because of the color of their skin, and the fact that Jamaica isn't exactly what you would consider a prime winter sports venue, the Jamaican bobsledders set out to prove all the naysayers wrong. And had it not been for a faulty bolt on one of the skis on their sled, they likely would have at least gotten a medal for their performance.

The story of this incredible journey was immortalized in the 1993 movie Cool Runnings starring John Candy.

It's a movie I have watched 64 times already so far.

This afternoon marks the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics in/near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, eh. As luck would have it once again the Jamaican Bobsled team is there competing. Although it would be fantastic if they won I don't really care if they do. In fact its a better story with them not winning. Still every four years the only story I care about coming from the Winter Olympics, no matter where they are, is the presence of the Jamaican Bobsled team once again trying to accomplish the impossible. One of these years they will.

To give them some much needed help, remember that the next time you are in the Montego Bay airport, mon, just after clearing the metal detectors, make sure you stop in at the Cool Runnings store on the International departures concourse.

All the proceeds from sales of Jamaican Bobsled Team clothing go to help fund the team on their journey every four years to win the Gold. I was last in the Montego Bay airport in 2007 and I stopped in the store and made a contribution (rather hefty one as my credit card will attest) purchasing Jamaican Bobsled team garb for friends and family for Christmas presents.

I love standing in that store because you're on the island where they came from AND the movie plays continuously from the time the store opens until it closes, each and every day.

Once past the store you come to the Jamaican Bobsled Team cafe but just beyond that is the Mo Bay Airport Margaritaville Cafe. As much as I love the Jamaican Bobsled Team, I do have my allegiances to support. After all it was in the Mo Bay Margaritaville Cafe that I drank my first Landshark Lager.

Regardless of the stores in the airport, its time for everyone to get behind the improbable Jamaicans who I hope again this year take the start of their first run singing "Jamaica We Have A Bobsled Team" just like they did in the movie. Yah, mon.

And serendepity being so serendepitous as it is at times, just today Air Jamaica announced a $138 round trip fare from Orlando to Montego Bay. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something?

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