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Jamaican bobsled team practices push-starts with a Mini

(Journal Classic Cars) Locked out of the gym by coronavirus pandemic, Jamaican bobsledders had to improvise as they prepare for winter competition, so they push start with a Mini.

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.

“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.

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.

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