Two members of the Jamaica Bobsled Team are training for the Winter Olympics in a unique way. The athletes made headlines when they were seen pushing a Mini Cooper through the streets of Peterborough in the UK. With the team’s usual training facilities on lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s just one of the creative and innovative ways that the team members have been utilizing to train.
Nimroy Turgott, age 27, and teammate Shanwayne Stephens, age 29, have been sheltering in place together since March 2020 when the lockdown went into effect. Stephens joined the team in 2017 as a lead bobsled driver. He moved to Peterborough from Jamaica when he was 22 and is a Lance Corporal in the Royal Air Force. Turgott lives in Jamaica and came to the UK after the two competed together in Austria in January.
“Resistance training is a big part of our program and pushing the car ticked that box, ” said Shanwayne Stephens.
Just as the original Jamaican bobsled team had to create its own training methods and equipment, so it’s been for Turgott and Stephens. They’re resorting to homemade weights and pushing the Mini Cooper for strength, resistance, and endurance training. The vehicle belongs to Stephens’ fiancé and of a similar weight to the sled they’ll use in the Olympics.
Turgott and Stephens have also built a squat rack and training space in their back garden, are watching footage of different Olympic tracks, and continue to come up with creative ways to train with the materials they have at hand.
The original Jamaican bobsled team gained international fame when they debuted in the 1998 Winter Olympics. The 1993 film “Cool Runnings” was loosely based on the team’s experiences while training for a winter sport while living in a tropical environment. The COVID-19 lockdown has forced the duo to be creative and they’re definitely living up to the innovative spirit and determination of the original Jamaica bobsled team.
Photo source: Shanwayne Stephens