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Jamaican team pushes a Mini to keep the Olympic dream alive

The Jamaican bobsleigh team is normally used to train without snow, but the lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak has seen its male athletes push a car around the streets of an English city to stay in shape, with an eye on the Olympic qualifications.

Some residents of Peterborough have offered their help to Shanwayne Stephens and Nimroy Turgott, two athletes who are training hard for the Olympics- as they push a Mini down the road, before realising it is part of a new training regime to work around the closure of gyms in England.

Bobsleigh - Jamaica Bobsleigh team members Shanwayne Stephens and Nimroy Turgott push a Mini Cooper. They have been pushing the car around the streets of Peterborough as part of their training following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Peterborough, Britain. Image credit Reuters, Paul Childs

“We had to come up with our 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?” Stephens, 29, said to the media.

“We do get some funny looks. We’ve had people running 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.”

Image credit Your News

The athletic couple said they had been inspired by the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics men’s bobsleigh team, immortalised in the 1993 film ‘Cool Runnings’.

The only difference is that they aim to qualify for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 and then outperform the athletes of the film, who did not officially finish the four-man bob competition after crashing in 1988.

“Those guys set a legacy, and a movie came out of it. I want to surpass that level, and even go beyond that,” Turgott, 27, declared.

Image credit Your News

Turgott, who normally lives in Jamaica, has been staying with Stephens since January, and the pair had always planned to do summer training in Britain, albeit in gyms rather than on roads.“If you’re able to do the same sort of training without the same gym equipment, then, in theory, you should be able to achieve more with the right equipment,” he explained.

The pair is focused on qualifying for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. While the women’s team competed for the first time in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the men’s team failed to qualify.

“The last Olympics, we missed it by one slot. And now we learned the lesson, and we are now using that experience as our motivation to move forward and make it,” Turgott concluded.

Image credit Your News


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