Sports Comedy About Jamaicans Finishes First

Author: Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd

Hit film about Caribbean bobsleigh’s debut at Olympic Games’ tops UK vote

The iconic Disney movie Cool Runnings, a biopic comedy about the Jamaican bobsleigh team, won hearts across the globe but has been named as the UK’s all-time favourite sports film.

The biopic was loosely based on the Caribbean underdogs sensationally making it to the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, but they finished in 31st – and last – place.

Although it wasn’t a fairytale ending on the track in Canada, the fact that Jamaica were the first nation from the Caribbean to compete at bobsleigh earned them a legion of fans during their shot at success on the ice.


As their mishaps on the debut at the Games were highlighted in the feel-good film, it became a worldwide phenomena. The expression of “Jamaica we have a bobsleigh team” was coined from Cool Runnings.

The improbable saga of four athletes from Jamaica and a disgraced former bobsledder from Canada as coach finished as top dogs with 18% of the UK votes.

Showcase Cinemas commissioned the survey to coincide with the Boxing Day release of the Next Goal Wins movie, which covers the true story of the American Samoa national football team. The film is based on the 2014 documentary Next Goal Wins.

The Disney hit Cool Runnings narrowly beat 1976 US sports drama Rocky (17%) that started Sylvester Stallone as a small-time Philadelphia boxer.

British 1981 classic Chariots of Fire finished third on 16%, which depicted the race for gold between a pair of runners at the 1924 Olympics.

Research revealed that 36% believe that sports-related films helped them become more interested in particular athletes, sports and/or teams.

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