Gold Medalist in BOBSLEDING! Olympic Firsts...Part 3

"You know some people them say they can't believe, Jamaica we got a bobsled team!" So went the song from the mid 1990's movie titled 'Cool Runnins' starring Leon and John Candy. The jist of the movie was 3 sprinters (and 1 other friend) all wanted to go to the summer Olympics as sprinters. Through a twist of fate, at the Jamaican Olympic trials, all three are involved in a fall during a race and none qualify for the Olympics. Derese, played by Leon, really wants to go to the Games and since he can't get to the summer games, he settles for the Winter Olympics as a BOBSLEDDER!

Although the characters were fictional, there actually was a Jamaican Bobsled Team made up of sprinter from this small island. This story isn't to dissimilar from the subject of this post, Winter Olympian and Gold Medal Winner (Bobsled) Vonetta Flowers. She dreamed of being a track star in the Summer Olympics also, but injuries kept her from achieving it. There are many reasons why there are VERY few African American Winter Olympians but I will share with you a few. The 1st reason is winter sports tend to be more expensive! Hockey, skiing, ice skating, and the like cost alot more $$$ than summer sports that black folk dominate. However, as black folk become more financially prosperous, this trend will change, IF we can get past reason #2, THE COLD!
There probably are African Americans who actually like the cold weather (there are many including myself who love the snow), but in my 36 years, I have yet to hear one say "Child I just love it when it is freezing outside." Nevertheless, as the other 2 Olympians previously featured on this blog, Mrs. Flowers stepped outside of the norm within the African American community and became the first African American to win a Gold Medal at a winter games (2002 Salt Lake City). Great going Vonetta and to all of you Youth in the inner-city, yes your so-called friends are going to make negative statements if you want to do something different like this, but it is up to you NOT TO LISTEN to them and 'Live the dream'.


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