Cool Runnings is a quintessential 90’s movie with all of the typical Disney hijinks you would expect from that era: American actors poorly executing accents, slapstick humor, witty one-liner comebacks, and of course the disgraced American coach who has to inspire a group of misfit athletes.
The film also has amazing life lessons and educational value. Most people know the movie portrays the unlikely rise of the 1988 Jamaican men’s bobsled team who made it to the winter Olympics in Calgary.
However, did you know that Jamaica has had at least one sled compete in every Olympics from 1988 to 2002? That is an impressive accomplishment for a tropical country.
Most recently they finished 14th in the 2014 Olympics. The true story of the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team is an important piece of world athletic history that proves underdogs can win and nothing is impossible.
Fan Favorite Cool Runnings Quotes
1. “I’m feeling very Olympic today. How about you?” – Sanka
2. “Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time! Cool runnings!”- Sanka
3. “I had to win. You see, Derice, I had made winning my whole life, and when you make winning your whole life, you have to keep on winning, no matter what.” – Irv
4. “Seemin’ to you nobody likes us?” – Junior
5. “This is what the Swiss do to psyche themselves up.” – Derice
6. “How about ‘Cool Runnings’? Means peace be the journey.”- Derice
7. “Sanka mon, whatcha smoking?” – Derice
8. “I’m not smoking, I’m breathing!” – Sanka
9. “Hey coach, how will I know if I’m enough? – Derice
10. “When you cross that finish line tomorrow, you’ll know.” – Irv
Cool Runnings Quotes by Sanka
11. “So am I, and the best I can be is Jamaican. Look, Derice… I’ve known you since Julie Jeffreys asked to see your ding-a-ling and I’m telling you as a friend if we look Jamaican, walk Jamaican, talk Jamaican and is Jamaican, then we sure as hell better bobsled Jamaican.” -Sanka
12. “That’s a hell of a place to be coming from!” – Sanka
13.“Derice, why are you hitting the teammates’ helmets? – Sanka
14. “They also make them little pocket knives, too, but I don’t see you doing that.” – Sanka
15. “Well the right foot for us is not the Swiss foot. I mean come on Derice, we can’t be copying nobody else’s style. We have our own style.” – Sanka
16. “When you need something from me…All you have to do is..say, “you are my best friend and we have been through a whole heap together and I really, really need you.” – Sanka
17. “You mean winter, as in igloos and Eskimos and penguins and ice?” – Sanka
18. “How about I draw a line down the middle of your head so it looks like a butt?” – Sanka
19. “Maid service sir. Would you like your bed turned down? Mint? Perhaps I could dust your head?” – Sanka
20. “Tallulah! Hahaha! Tallulah! Sounds like a 2 dollar hooker! Where you come up with that? – Sanka
Cool Runnings Quotes by Irv
21. “It doesn’t matter if they come in first or 50th. Those guys have earned the right to represent their country. They’ve earned the right to march into that stadium and wave their nation’s flag. That’s the single greatest honor an athlete can ever have. That’s what the Olympics are about.” – Irv
22. “Dig where I’m coming from. I’m coming from two gold medals. I’m coming from nine world records in both the two and four-man events. I’m coming from ten years of intense competition with the best athletes in the world.” – Irv
23. “Oh, yeah, just one little drawback to this delightful winter sport. The high-speed crash. Ooh! That hurt. Always remember, your bones will not break in a bobsled. No, no, no. They shatter.” -Irv
24. “Whether you win or lose a bobsled race, it’s all about right here, the push-start! And this is where you’re gonna learn about the push- start, is right here in a Volkswagen!” – Irv
25. “Gentlemen, a bobsled is a simple thing.” – Irv
26. 3“Winning a bobsled race is about one thing: the push-start. Now I know you dainty, little track-stars think you’re fast. Well, heh, let’s see how fast you are when you push a six-hundred-pound sled. Now a respectable start-time is five-point-seven seconds. If you speed demons can’t whip off an even six flat, you have a better chance of becoming a barbershop quartet.” – Irv
27. “Oh, pardon me. I didn’t realize that four black guys in a bobsled could make you blush.” – Irv
28. “I told the owner of the bar that these guys were mentally disturbed, so he’s not going to press any charges.” – Irv
29. “Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.” – Irv
Cool Runnings Quotes by Yul
30. “We’re different. People are always afraid of what’s different.” – Yul
31. “Look in the mirror, and tell me what you see!” – Yul
33. “How about I beat your butt right now?” – Yul
34. “That’s my mother’s name.” – Junior
35. “Hey, Dreadlocks. Let me kiss your lucky egg.” – Yul
36. “That’s Buckingham Palace. You plan on living there, you’re going to have to marry the Queen.” – Yul
37. “Well, I know my father started off in a one room hut. Now he lives in one of the biggest homes in Kingston.” – Yul
38. “He doesn’t have to be. All he has to do is know what he wants and work hard for it. And if he wants it bad enough, he’ll get it. Look, believe me, Sanka the more Yul Brenners we got making it in this world the better off this world will be, especially for Jamaicans. Go ahead, Yul Brenner. Go get your palace.” – Yul
More Cool Runnings Quotes
39. “I can’t believe you’re still cold, mon.” – Derice
40. “Cold? I’m freezing my royal Rastafarian nay-nays off!” – Sanka
41. “Alright, you are my best friend, and we’ve been through a whole lot together.” – Derice
42. “Whatever is wrong with you is no little thing.” – Junior
43. “What I am saying to you, is that you are the kind of club-toting, raw-meat-eating, Me-Tarzan-You-Jane-ing, big, bald bubblehead that can only count to ten if he’s barefoot or wearing sandals.” – Sanka
44. “The key elements to a successful sled team are a steady driver, and three strong runners to push off down the ice. Ice? Ice.” – Sanka
45. “Greetings, sled god.” – Sanka
46. “Now, you look. I will not be talked to that way. So you’d better come up with a damn good apology or else.” – Rawle
47. “Ready? That boy’s never ready. He’s a lazy, sorry, no-good bag of bones.” – Mama Coffie
48. “Yippy ki yey.” – Sanka
49. “Who’s the captain of our crew? Who’s a friend to me and you? Kinda nice, good-looking too. Sanka, Sanka, yay, Sanka.” – Sanka
50. “That guy won two gold medals?” – Sanka
Enjoy Cool Runnings quotes again and again
My favorite character from Cool Runnings is Sanka Coffie. Not only because as a kid I thought Doug. E Doug was hilarious, but because of his name.
Sanka Coffie is a play on the West African concept of “Sankofa” which is an Adinkra symbol created by the Akan people from Ghana. Adinkras are more than just symbols, they are deep concepts used to construct our understanding of our world.
Sankofa means that as you move forward, it is okay to look back to your past and reclaim what is good and belongs to you. Throughout the movie, Derice, Sanka, Junior, and Yul demonstrate intelligence, determination, pride and elegance in the face of xenophobia, fear, and doubt.
Each reaches back to lessons they learned from their past and reclaims their power to succeed in the now. What lessons from your past do you gain strength from?
October 8, 2021 8:01 AM EST