Friday, February 21, 2014

Jamaican Bobsled Time


Watching the Jamaican Bobsled Team at the Sochi 2014 Olympics conjures up memories of the classic '90s movie, Cool Runnings for a lot of people. Based on the storied 1988 Jamaican Bobsled Team that managed to capture global attention, you can't make up a crazier  and more inspiring tale. Seeing the two-man team reminded me of my own precarious bobsled run down Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.


Tucked into the lush rain forest, the Bobsled at Mystic Mountain captures stunning tropical vistas as well as the nerve-jangling bobsled experience. An exhibit with the famous Jamaican bobsled uniform and stats on the original team's history fill a corner before you arrive at the bobsled.



Before hopping on, I was greeted with the ominous sign above. There seemed to be lots of conditions and precautions for what I thought was a straightforward ride. Turns out that the bobsleds are actually a sports installation, developed to operate like a real bobsled. That means that the contraption works with gravity and is equipped with brakes. Brakes. So, you know, you can stop it as it speeds down the mountain. I was tempted to turn around but Ocho Rios is a long way from Chicago. I stepped in and was instructed on how to use the brakes. As the sled twisted and winded down the mountain, I kept the brakes on the entire time and it still whizzed along pretty fast.


I was rewarded with serene views like the one above. Flying down a tropical mountain appears to be much easier than tearing down an icy hill but that's just my perspective. Even though the 2014 Jamaican Bobsled Team finished 29 out of 30 teams, they continue to maintain cult hero status. The video for their official theme song below demonstrates just why Jamaica always wins, on some level.




10 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

what a cool tourist attraction! it has been years since i've been to ocho rios. what a gorgeous area.

Fly Girl said...

Tex,
It's totally cool and Ochi remains as gorgeous as ever.

Sandy Carlson said...

This was a great read. Thank you!

Fly Girl said...

Sandy,
Thanks for dropping by!

Indrani said...

That was a great trip. So glad to read about it.

Fly Girl said...

Indrani, it's always a memorable experience exploring Jamaica!

A Cuban In London said...

Of course, I remember that film. That looked like a fun trip! :-)

By the way, thanks for your comment on my latest post (but one). I agree that Toni demands slow reading. She is one of my favourite authors and I have re-read her books several times. Ever read The Big Box?

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Cubano, Toni is a fave of mine too but I can never quickly read her books. Haven't read The Big Box but will look it up!

Catherine said...

that is so true - jamaica always brings so much of their distinctive cultural identity to any sporting event - including the ones on snow and ice. Greetings from Nice...

Fly Girl said...

Catherine, There's no place like Jamaica but I think I'll post about your fave Mexico next. Stay Tuned!