Jamaican Bobsled Team Trains By Pushing A Mini Cooper

The Mini brand has been popular for decades. Even after its production ceased, the aftermarket still kept the fires burning for a long time for those that wanted reproduction parts to fix them. But, the Mini Cooper continued to be popular in rally racing and the movies. So, the brand was relaunched. Then a new Italian Job movie was released that featured a few of the brand’s cars racing through scenes. That all leads to now. Now we find that the Jamaican bobsled team has chosen a Mini Cooper as the source of training.

Two team members in team uniform push a blue Mini Cooper
Jamaica Bobsleigh team members Shanwayne Stephens and Nimroy Turgott push a Mini Cooper | REUTERS/Paul Childs

The Cool Runnings movie

Some explanation is necessary, but we have to start at the beginning. In 1993 there was a movie called Cool Runnings that debuted. The plot was about a bobsled team’s training to get to the Olympics. The only problem was that the team was from Jamaica, where there is no snow for the bobsleds. So, the movie follows the team as they creatively train and make their way ultimately to the big event. What people may not know is that the movie was loosely based on the actual Jamaican bobsled team that made it to the 1988 Olympics.

Training for the Olympics

Today, a new Jamaican team is endeavoring to make the 2022 Winter Olympics. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic has shut down gyms. So, members of the team in Peterborough, England, have had to find other ways to train. 

Two team members in team uniform push a blue Mini Cooper
Jamaica Bobsleigh team members Shanwayne Stephens and Nimroy Turgott push a Mini Cooper | REUTERS/Paul Childs

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Shanwayne Stephens and Nimroy Turgott have spent lockdown together to focus on training. One thing they determined was to use what they had available to them in order to keep moving forward with training. So they made homemade weights and converted their garden into a squat rack for resistance training. But that was not enough. 

Pushing the Mini Cooper

According to an interview with Mr. Stephens for Reuters

“We had to come up with our own ways of replicating the sort of pushing we need to do. So that’s why we thought: why not go out and push the car?” 

This is where his fiance’s Mini Cooper comes into the picture. The team members had to promise not to damage the car, of course. But, they figured the weight and resistance of the small car would give them what they need to train. So, they started pushing it through the street. A Mini Cooper weighs between 2,700 and 3,100 pounds, depending on the trim level. 

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Mr. Stephens says, 

“We do get some funny looks. We’ve had people run over, thinking the car’s broken down, trying to help us bump-start the car. When we tell them we’re the Jamaica bobsleigh team, the direction is totally different, and they’re very excited.”

Fittingly enough, in an interview with People, Mr. Stephens admitted, “He was inspired to take up the sport after seeing Cool Runnings.”

Where there is a will, there is a way. It would seem the Jamaican team’s will to get to the Olympics has managed to get them creative enough to figure out a way to get their training in. Also, it looks like Mini has joined the Jamaican bobsled team as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.