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David Longstreath/AP
The Jamaican bobsled team competes in the 1994 Lillehammer Games.

No. 5: Jamaican Bobsled Team Debuts in Calgary

The 1988 Calgary Games attracted an unprecedented number of athletes from tropical nations, none more popular than the Jamaican four-man bobsled team. Made up of sprinters and military men, the team had little experience on ice.

Predictably, they struggled; one member was hurt falling on the ice, forcing the brother of the driver, who had never been in a bobsled, to fill in. They suffered a terrible crash on their final run, but they managed to get up and walk to the finish line as the crowd cheered.

Their experience was dramatized in the 1993 film “Cool Runnings.” Drastically improved Jamaican teams returned in ensuing Games, though they could not qualify for the 2006 or 2010 games.

Watch the 1988 team’s crash.

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