When the first Jamaican bobsled team competed at the Winter Olympics in 1998 it became the subject of a famous Hollywood movie, entitled ‘Cool Runnings’. We hope Hollywood is taking note because the Jamaicans are at it again, this time with dogs in Canada.
It’s also not the comparative safety of the Canadian Winter Olympic that the Jamaicans are entering, but the very dangerous dogsled race known as the Iditarod, which is a 1,15o mile race through Alaska. We wrote about the race last year, and many of the dog teams suffered tragedy on the way.
The race takes place later this month, and 28 year old Jamaican Newton Marshall will be competing. Unlike the Jamaicans in Cool Runnings however, Marshall is serious about the sport and has already competed in dogsled competitions. He finished 13th out of 29 races, or ‘mushers’, in last year’s ‘Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race’.
The race itself gets underway next weekend, on Sunday. Marshall commented:
I’m kind of getting tired of this waiting, waiting, waiting. I really want to get out there.
Should Marshall and his dogs complete the Iditarod, he will go down in history as the first black competitor to complete the race. Barry MacAlpine was the only other black man to compete in the race, at the very first race in 1973 – however he didn’t finish.
We’re wishing Marshall, and his dogs, the best of luck this Sunday.