1. Derice Bannock - Leon
He may have been faster than his father, but Derice never made it to Olympics as a sprinter. Instead he convinced a retired “sled God” to teach a few Jamaicans a new sport. Leon went on to star in Cliffhanger with Sylvester Stallone and Above the Rim with Tupac Shakur and earned an Emmy Nomination for his portrait of Little Richard. After he mastered turn-12 in Calgary the heartthrob became one of those guys who actually dates models. If you look carefully you can spot him on Real Housewives of Atlanta as the baby daddy of Cynthia Bailey’s daughter.
BONUS: Born Leon Robinson. He dropped the “Robinson” for a more unique and mysterious stage name, or he had secret ambitions of becoming a Brazilian soccer star.
2. Sanka Coffie - Doug E. Doug
Sanka was the best pushcart driver in all of Jamaica, but he put his ego aside for the for the sake of the team. The film’s comic relief, and soul, appeared to be the break-out comedic star from Cool Runnings, starring in Operation Dumbo Drop alongside Danny Glover and Ray Liotta and then joining the cast of The Cosby Show. However he was quickly reduced to small roles in unknown films and cameos on Law & Order. He was most recently seen as a pastor slash drug dealer on two episdoes of Justified.
3. Yul Brenner - Malik Yoba
Once he let go of his anger towards Junior for ending his Olympic track dreams the big baldy went on to carve himself a successful, but rather unnoticed, career in film and TV including both of Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? films. However his most memorable post-Rasta Rocket role is as Ice, the bounty hunter slash caterer from Arrested Development.
4. Junior Bevil - Rawle D. Lewis
After turning down that lucrative brokerage job at Webster, Webster & Cohen in Miami to make history with his Jamaican brethren in Calgary, Rawle D. Lewis fell off the acting map returning only for a brief appearance in K-PAX. Most recently he was seen taking a picture with YouTube’s Sexy Sax Man. Still a badass mother who won’t take no crap off of nobody.
5. Irv Blitzer - John Candy
Derice and Co. inspired the disgraced former gold mentalist to stop making bad bets on horses named Tumbleweed and eventually taught lighting to run on ice. In doing so he redeemed his own image and inspired a nation. The comic legend died tragically of a heart attack only a year after the film’s release at the age of 43.
6. Josef Grool - Peter Outerbridge
The East German was one of the best drivers in the world. He was also one of the biggest assholes. The film’s villain didn’t feel the Jamaicans belonged, and he never shut up about it, until the proud and worthy Jamaican’s carried their sled across the finish line. Outerbridge is still quite active in television and film. Most recently he starred in the CW show Nikita and as the lead in Saw VI.
BONUS: He’s actually Canadian.
7. Kurt Hemphill - Raymond J. Barry
Kurt never had much to say, but we all know he hated Irv’s guts and took his anger out on the Jamaican squad. But after doing everything in his power to keep them from qualifying he had a change of heart during the film’s final sequence. Raymond J, Barry became quite the prolific character actor after Cool Runnings appearing as the asshole dad in Dewey Cox: Walk Hard and most recently in an episode of New Girl. He is also a reoccurring character in Justified along with fellow Cool Runnings alum Doug E. Doug.
8. Whitby Bevil Sr. - Charles Hyatt
Junior’s successful, domineering and frequently disappointed father eventually became his son’s biggest fan. Hyatt was a proud Jamaican actor and comedian who lived his whole life in Kingston. He passed away in 2008 from lung cancer.
9. Al Trautwig - Al Trautwig
Al Trautwig memorably caught Jamaican fever during the 1988 bobsled finals along with the rest of the world. He currently works for MSG Nework. Unnamed sources claim he still has an undiagnosed case of Jamaican fever.
10. BONUS: The Evolution of Has Zimmer
Yea, that beautiful and inspiring theme song the blared triumphantly as Derice, Sanka, Yul and Junior carried the sled across the finish line in Calgary was crafted by none other than the great Hans Zimmer. It makes the room dusty every single time, there’s no shame in admitting it. He won an Academy Award a year later for scoring The Lion King and is known most recently for scoring Christopher Nolan’s Batman series as well as Inception’s iconic score.
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