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1988 Jamaican Bobsled Team

George Fitch, currently the mayor of the small northern Virginia town of Warrenton, helped found the first bobsled team from Jamaica when he served as the Commercial Attache at the American embassy in Kingston, Jamaica in the 1980s. He learned of sprinters preparing for the upcoming summer olympics, and thought they would be perfect to compete in the bobsled at the Calgary Olympics — something a team from Jamaica has never done before. Fitch funded the team himself, and helped them throughout the qualifying process for the 1988 games. (Getty Images)

Olympic Flashback: 1988 Jamaican Bobsled team

The 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Canada, were highlighted in part on the bobsled track — just not who you would expect.

Four sprinters from Jamaica, who had never competed at the Winter Olympics before — and only started competing in the event months before the Olympics — stole the show in the event. The team, while not finishing remarkably well, is one of the better remembered in Winter Olympic history, even inspiring the 1993 Disney movie Cool Runnings. 

Since their start, Jamaica has fielded a team in multiple Winter Olympics since its debut in 1988. At the 2018 games in PyeongChang, South Korea, the country will field its first ever women’s bobsled team, attempting to bring home the island nation’s first medal in the event.

Here’s a look back on the 1988 team: