The Story Behind The Movie Rasta Rocket

Rasta Rockett is a hilarious and moving 1993 comedy that features the Olympic history of Devon Harris, Chris Stokes, Dudley Stockes and Michael White. 30 years after the legendary film, here they are again telling what left their mark on them. Of course, they have aged and no longer have the same energies as they did then, but they kept their good humor.

DEVON HARRIS
He is recognized by his laughter. When he began his interview with the journalists, he asked them if they had noticed his physical change. Something that was natural after so many years, but none of those present responded. Following this silence, Devon Harris himself admits that he is no longer in good shape. In fact, he says it alluding to his Calgary suit which no longer fits him and which took place in a garage north of New York, in Congers. This is where he currently resides with his family and 5 children.

He took out some souvenir photos of the Calgary Olympics. He liked to take pictures, but because his camera was lost, he only kept about ten. The Jamaican thus unveils one of them, specifying that he was the one wearing a yellow t-shirt. It was training in Kingston in the Up-Park Camp, he said, followed by a little thought of the past.

The story begins when William Maloney and George B. Fitch made the decision to form a Jamaican bobsleigh team. These 2 businessmen have therefore chosen this country far from the snow. They organized a recruiting there in September 1987. Devon Harris was a lieutenant who had no trouble passing the test even though bobsleigh, the sport played in rasta rocket, was unknown to him. Apparently it was enough to be an athlete with good speed and power. These were the essential qualities imposed to reach the end.

At that time, it was the sprinter who made the notoriety of the country with the success of Merlene Ottey . The first initiation was done very simply. A soap box which was customary for children was used. The Jamaican athlete then had to, with the others, descend at full speed the slopes of Kingston with this device.

It was only after several weeks that it all got serious. The team was even sometimes taken abroad for training. Meanwhile, sessions last 7 to 8 hours according to Devon Harris. They were given little rest and had to keep pace while dealing with knee, thigh and back pain.

The athlete, currently in his fifties, has since reduced his physical activities. These boil down to push-ups, volleyball with friends, and workouts in the gym. At the moment, he limits himself to watching bobsleigh, a sport where he has now become secretary general of the Jamaican federation . He adds that with his body, it would be difficult for him to get into the sled.

On the other hand, this work is not what pays him the most. To complete his entry of money, he organizes conferences in various establishments to publicize his success and his motivation. His story thus sums up the journey of a boy who grew up in a ghetto and who never dreamed of becoming a professional, but who, in the end, was able to participate in the Olympic Games.

DUDLEY STOKES
A second anorak to keep warmer would be more suitable according to Dudley Stokes. Indeed, the temperature in the Olympic Village of Pyeongchang has reached -11 ° C. A climate that is vastly different from the weather in Jamaica. If he was then used to short-sleeved clothes, he would have to get used to the cold. 30 years after their success, her country, the Caribbean island, continued to gain recognition following the success of a women’s bobsleigh games team at the Olympic Games.

This team consisted of Audra Sègre, Carrie Russell and Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian. Dudley Stokes admits to feeling the same emotions as these women. A few years ago, during the 1988 Olympics, this former helicopter pilot was in their place. An unforgettable memory, both for athletes and for the country.

His first visit to Canada was marked by the crowd, the many new buildings, the atmosphere and the diversity of the language. During the Winter Olympics, they were intimidated by the public. According to Dudley Stokes, the latter was amazed to see Jamaicans competing in bobsleigh.

There were certainly mockeries on the road, but this sportsman admits to having lost the memory of it. He only kept in mind the uproar during their trip where they were greeted like stars.

The 4 athletes, often dressed in yellow and green, never missed the shows. They were known by their dazzling laughter.

To motivate the 3 athletes from Pyeongchang that he trains, Dudley Stokes watches the film Rasta Rockett with them. It makes them want to have the same journey and give everything. Together they are aiming for the top 10 in bobsleigh.

It was only after this period that Dudley Stokes returned to his island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago to continue his activities. Indeed, he is responsible for the management of vacation rentals in this place which displays more than 25 ° C.

CHRIS STOKES
If his bulky biceps made Chris Stokes famous, his physique has since changed and he is currently a businessman . The old, ultra-tight jumpsuit has been swapped for a suit with a tie.

Among the 4, he is the only one who still resides in the country after the adventures of this 1 st Winter Olympics. He created the NCS Entreprises which works in the marketing of financial products. His organizational skills acquired during his career helped him in this profession. During his professional meetings, he encourages his clients to increase their concentration and their self-confidence.

His lead sentence: “be better than you think”. According to him, his success was unlikely since he had come to Canada as a spectator of his brother Dudley. Caswell Allen who was injured 5 days before the start of the games. It was at this point that we had to find a replacement and he was chosen for his impressive physique and his 87 kg. He did not have a lot of time to train and knew little about the machine he was supposed to enter and which had also just been hired.

Their adventure aroused the interest of journalists and he tells what he experienced on February 28, 1988. He was with the 3 others at the top of the 1,500-meter descent track with 14 bends awaiting them. There was even a 270 ° turn in the course. During this ordeal, the pilot lost control, causing the Jamaican bobsleigh to overturn.

Michael White admits that without the movie Rasta Rockett, a true story, he wouldn’t have had the same reputation as he does now. Since then, his children have asked to always see this film on the bobsleigh.

Difference of the film from reality
Jon Turteltaub, recognized with: Love at all costs, the sorcerer’s apprentice and in troubled waters released in 1994 this cult film which has become a classic of American comedy. The latter brought in around 154,000,000 dollars. It tells the true story of a Jamaican bobsleigh team that took part in the Olympics for the very first time. The Winter Olympics were however reserved for the white population. Their arrival therefore left several people stunned. Nevertheless, to get acquainted with the vastly different climate they came from, they had to get used to a frozen lake. But what really happened in 1988?

Although the film was largely inspired by real events, we will note a first difference in terms of occupation of the 4 athletes. In reality, the latter are not quite sprint runners who had the makings of qualifying for the Olympics, Devon Harris was a lieutenant, Dudley Stokes a helicopter pilot and Samuel Clayton an engineer. Only Michael White was a sprinter. Samuel was subsequently injured 3 days before the events, which put Chris Stokes in the spotlight. Johny Candy meanwhile is a real invention of the saga. It should also be noted that different coaches prepared the 4 athletes, so we are far from the myth of the only coach.

The second difference is in the way that allowed the team to join the Olympics in Canada. If the film shows that one of them got the money for the tickets after selling his car, the reality is quite different. In fact, they were able to raise the proceeds by selling T-shirts. The mockery suffered by the other participants is also an invention of the film according to one of the coaches.

The most realistic point of the film is based on the fact that the 4 athletes did not win any medals . In the 2-man events, Michael White and Dudley Stokes finished 30/34. In the four-a-side events, the team’s result in the first round is 24/26, 25/26 for the second. As for the ultimate, their Jamaican bobsleigh really missed a turn when his pilot Dudley Stokes, with a shoulder injury, lost control of the luge . They then crossed the finish line on foot. And this to the applause of the public.

Rasta Rocket, actors, what happened to them?
Doug E. Doug alias Sanka Coffie

Currently in his 50s, this actor has been seen in several films ranging from dramas to comedies. Following Rasta Rocket, he was often called upon to chat and respond to fans. 6 years later, he even directed Citizen James. He then starred in the Cosby Show series in 1996 and in Snowmen in 2010. The latter was his last screen appearance. And he was one of the guests for the 20 years of the film which took place at the location of the shooting.

Leon Robinson alias Derice Bannock

We have seen this actor, also in his 50s, in no less than 30 films after Rasta rocket. The Temptation was one of the best known. Her voice has above all allowed her to reach the top not only in cinema, but also in music. Indeed, he became the singer of Leon and the Peoples. With the album The Road Less Traveles, he was named best international artist. This took place during the Joe Higgs Reggae Awards .

Malik Yoba aka Yul Brenner

This actor, meanwhile, continued on the path of cinema by playing Frank Hill in the New York Undercover series, different from the Jamaica film. It was a lieutenant role in the American police. It lasted 5 years: from 1994 to 1998. His career never came to an end despite his 50 years and over. He’s also been spotted in Girlfriends, Designated Survivor, and Take Point. His schedule is quite busy unlike the other actors who played alongside him the famous Rasta Rockett the film.

Rawle D. Lewis alias Junior Bevil

25 years after the film, this Rasta Rocket actor tried to stay in the cinematic universe, but he was not very successful because he was never able to land a leading role. He was however seen to embody the role of a K-Pax security guard. This movie was set alongside Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey.

Some famous lines from the movie Rasta Rockett
“As you can see, the bobsleigh is a very simple object…“

“I’m going to take a good hot bath, I freeze them myself, just thinking about all that ice…”

“Sanka man, what are you smoking?

  • I don’t smoke, I breathe out ”

After going through these few lines, from now on, when you go to watch Rasta Rockett you will directly understand all the history behind it.

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