US & Canada

Stranded Jamaican bobsleigh team rescued in Calgary

The Jamaican bobsleigh team Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The Jamaican bobsleigh team returned to Calgary where they debuted in the 1988 Olympics

The Jamaican bobsleigh team was rescued by a good Samaritan after their van broke down in Calgary, Alberta, over the weekend.

The perennial underdogs caught a lucky break in the same city where they made their Olympic debut in 1988.

The debut became the subject of the 1993 film Cool Runnings, starring John Candy.

The 12-person team was in town for a competition on Sunday.

Kathleen Pulito, the team's social media director, told the Calgary Herald the team is on a shoestring budget and the van was supposed to take them across the country as they set their sights on the 2018 Winter Olympics.

"We're just trying to do what we can, get one place to the next and hoping we don't run out of money," she said.

Shortly after the team tweeted about their predicament, a GoFundMe page had sprouted up to try and raise enough money for repairs.

David Schnerch was out doing some errands on Saturday when he passed by the van, and saw team members trying to fiddle with the vehicle's battery.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The Jamaican Bobsled Team are seen here prepping for competition

Being in possession of a booster cable himself, Schnerch pulled over and tried to give them a jump. When that didn't work he drove the team to Canada Olympic Park himself so that they could make their race.

"Just focus on the race," he said. "We'll get you what you need."

After their race in Calgary, the team needed to make it to Whistler, British Columbia, for another competition. So Schnerch gave them the key to his truck.

"If they still need it, once they're done they'll get it back to me," he told the BBC.

Pulito told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation a local car rental agency has donated a van so they can get to Whistler, and some much-needed cash. The team continues to fundraise on online to help fuel their Olympic dreams.

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