The Animal Whisperer has always joked that El Salvador has a bobsled team. He thinks if Jamaica can have one, so can his country. In every winter Olympics, he points out the person walking in with the Salvadorean flag at the Opening Ceremonies. I guess I’m usually in the bathroom when that happens. I have absolutely never seen it.
But, yesterday proves that the future in bobsledding might change for the Rhode Island sized tropical country where it did snow one inch on the tip of the highest mountain once in the last decade. Definitely bobsledding territory.
Remember Cool Runnings? The Jamaican Bobsled team? Well, in no way do I wish to downplay their hard work, their dedication and their optimism, I just want to point out that I might get to meet them in person in the 2024 Winter Olympics. I’m planning to enter my family.
They unknowingly began practice yesterday. My husband and my 7-year-old.
On This. This incredible creation that my husband, craftsman, engineer, builder of all things, built as a surprise for our two dear boys, ages 7 and 4.
However, I had no idea that its maiden voyage was scheduled for yesterday.
I was sitting inside with the windows open, pleasantly rocking my slightly ill 4-year-old. It was then that I heard my 7-year-old’s high pitch, rapid succession laugh.
Then: “EEEEE-Oooowwwww!!! Is he laughing or crying?
Then: “AAAAAAAAAAAHhhh!! MOMMY!!! PAPI!!!!! MOMMYPAPI!!! MOMMYPAPI!!!! MOMMYPAPI!!!” That’s definitely crying.
I nearly throw my 4-year-old off my lap and tear out the front door, barefoot. I may enter the 2026 Summer Olympics in the barefoot-on-sharp-rocks-running-race. I made it in no time to where I thought my 7-year-old must have crashed on his bike, and was alone, injured.
I found him screaming, crying, jumping and holding his right hip while staring at the wrecked dryland bobsled. And, The Animal Whisperer, my husband, his father, standing right there with him. Apparently an accomplice.
Our boy was inconsolable. He was hurt, in pain, mad at the bobsled and mad at his father, for wrecking.
They had decided to give the sled a try.
Starting at the top of the driveway.
With no brakes.
And a steering mechanism that is opposite that of a car. You turn it left, the bobsled goes right. You turn it right, the bobsled goes left. If you’re lucky. Sometimes it doesn’t work exactly right.
And, in a matter of seconds, they wrecked. Both falling off, The Animal Whisperer on top of the boy, the bobsled on top of both of them.
We schlepped our son inside, me being motherly and consoling him. The Animal Whisperer being manly and telling him to be tough. After 5 or 6 minutes of alligator tears rolling down his face and a pack of frozen edamame on his hip, I thought of The Movie.
Seeing as though Cool Runnings came out in 1993, and my husband…let alone our first born…wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye yet, our son has never seen it. Mostly because we haven’t watched any movies since then. 1993, I mean.
But I started to tell him about it, and about when Darice and Sanka pad themselves up, put on helmets and start off down hills in their homemade driving contraptions. And, how they always wreck. And how they finally became the Jamaican Bobsled Team. And, finally, our son stopped crying and smiled a tiny bit. Even laughed a little.
It was then that we decided we had better introduce to the world the new…
…Salvadorean Bobsled Team!!!
And, we decided the team members better wear more protective clothing next time.
And, I was instructed that, as part of their training, the Team would prefer no condolences for this, their first wreck.
No sympathy. Only well-wishes and pats on the back.
They are recovering nicely and may ride again when the boy is around 20 and my husband around 55. They should be able to strike fear in all of their competitors by then. And maybe the sled will have brakes and a different steering situation.
And in honor of the first tropical country to bobsled in the Olympics…
Darice: Sanka… you dead?
Sanka: Ya, mon.
- The Goat Cheese Lady
P.S. The photos above are remakes of the actual event. Hence, the missing 7-year-old. He opted out. But, he sure is cute, isn’t he.