My little brother was obsessed with the movie Cool Runnings and watched it over and over for over month, to my great annoyance.
I remember calling the story unrealistic and typical Disney-feel-good. This didn’t stop me from watching the film over a dozen times.
This assignment presents me with the opportunity to review my original critic of the movie as well as identifying the tiny habits of persistence.
1. Feel the burn
Derice’s desire to go to the Olympics is strong, he participates even though his original Games are over and gone.
From the start Derice is seen training for the Olympics in the scorching Jamaican sun. Encouraged by his fellow countrymen and women he runs and trains all the time.
Being a hopeful just like his father before him, he is determined to reach the summer Olympics. This was before the ridiculous event that occurred during the qualifying rounds…
Tripping over a fallen competitor Derice fails to qualify for the Games and is understandably disappointed. This failure does not discourage our main protagonist. He starts to search for an alternative means to participate at the Olympics.
2. The best laid plans…
He seeks out Irv, a disgraced former bobsleigh coach and convinces him to create a bobsleigh team with three outstanding runners and his friend Sanka who races a soapbox.
Along with his fellow fallen runners they start training for the Winter Olympics, even though they have never seen actual snow or had ever heard of bob-sleighing before.
They raise the money for travel, expenses and gear against all odds.
3. By all means
Not letting a setback such as being disqualified for the Games he’s been training for the last few years hinder him, Derice sets out the find a way to participate, albeit in the Winter Games. He’s determined to be an Olympian.
Even though the odds are against him -a disgraced alcohol-indulging coach, never having seen snow, let alone a bob-sleigh; one member of the team is not even an athlete; one member seems to hate everything and everyone; having almost no funds to buy the expensive gear- Derice is confident participating is an outstanding and feasible idea and keeps working towards that goal.
Instead of harboring resentment against Junior, who fell and dragged Derice to the ground, he embraces Junior and welcomes him into the team.
Junior faces his own discouraging demons in the shape of his father who’d rather see him as a serious career-chasing student.
4. I see pride
Derice seeks out people who’d be driven to go all the way, and then some to participate in the Olympics, even if this means working with very unlikely partners, even if this means being the laughing-stock of both his country and the Games.
He follows through and so does Junior. Encouraged by his former nemesis Yul Brenner he decides to ignore his father’s threats and humiliating words.
I still well up when Derice and his team crawl out of the broken sled and carry it over the finish.
Who cares if Disney played emotional music all over that scene?! I feel all fuzzy inside thinking of that moment, regardless of the public’s reaction and even Junior’s dad changing his tune. I identify with those based on real life athletes.
Life has presented me with some obstacles of my own, but I know they are in truth opportunities in disguise. And one step at the time I overcome them (and myself).