HomeCar CultureJamaican bobsled team practices push starts with a Mini

Jamaican bobsled team practices push starts with a Mini

Locked out of gym by pandemic, tandem has had to improvise as it prepares for winter competition and Olympics


With gyms closed by the coronavirus pandemic, members of the famed Jamaican bobsled team have had to get creative in their workouts. Thus Shanwayne Stephens and Nimroy Turgott have built their own weight-lifting equipment in a garden and are using a Mini to practice their push starts.

At first, the tandem was using a Mini 3-door hatchback as a substitute for the prowler in the gym, but when Mini UK discovered the team, it offered up a Mini Cooper convertible for the Jamaican athletes to use for their resistance-training workouts on a private road in an industrial park Peterborough, England.

Mini even wrapped the cabriolet in the Jamaican team colors.

Jamaican bobsled, Jamaican bobsled team practices push starts with a Mini, ClassicCars.com Journal
Mini UK provided a new cabriolet in colors of the Jamaican flag

“Mini have always been a part of my life,” Stephens, 29, is quoted in a news release by Mini. “I currently own a 1992 Austin Mini and my fiancé owns the Mini 3-door hatch we’ve been using to train with.”

He added that the availability of the convertible wrapped in the colors of the Jamaican flag “gives us even more motivation to achieve our goals and we’re grateful that Mini UK has recognized the hard work and focus we have put into our training over the lockdown period.”

Stephens, the bobsled pilot, and Turgott, a 27-year-old brakeman, are training for the Olympic Winter Games scheduled for Beijing in 2022, as well as for the upcoming winter season in Europe and North America, including the bobsled world championships scheduled for February 2021 in Lake Placid, New York.

Jamaican bobsled, Jamaican bobsled team practices push starts with a Mini, ClassicCars.com Journal
Pushing is work, driving and riding brings smiles after practice

Stephens was introduced to the sport through his service with the Royal Air Force. Turgott turned to bobsledding as part of his rehabilitation after suffering an injury as a track and field athlete.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. I am so glad to read this. The Jamaican Bobsled team has always brought a ray of Jamaican sunshine into my life. And I need that now, more than ever.


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