At first everyone thought it was a joke. The Caribbean nation of Jamaica was sending a bobsled team to the Olympics. The tropical island had never before sent an athlete to compete in the Winter Olympic Games.
The Jamaican bobsled team made its Olympic debut at the 1988 games in Calgary, Canada. The team was definitely the underdog and became a fan favorite. They arrived with almost no practice going down a real bobsled run. They even had to borrow sleds from other countries to compete.
Although they finished in last place, they won the notice of the world. They were later the subjects of a Disney movie called Cool Runnings.
They showed that they were definitely not a joke by making return appearances at future Winter Olympics. At Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994, Jamaica's four-man sled surprised everyone by finishing in 14th place, ahead of both sleds from the United States. Since then, Jamaica has had both men's and women's bobsled teams compete in international events.
The idea of a Jamaican bobsled team is not completely crazy. Jamaica has a tradition of great sprinters and bobsled racing requires a similar skill to get off quickly in the important push start.
Source:worksheetsplus.com/Reading/4thReadingSoortsBobsled.html Bobsledding Jamaican Style
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