Jamaican bobsledder Sam Clayton Jr, who helped inspire the film Cool Runnings, has died from coronavirus aged 58.
Jamaican bobsledder Sam Clayton Jr, who helped inspire the film Cool Runnings, has died from coronavirus aged 58.

Bobsledder behind Cool Runnings dies

Jamaican bobsledder Sam Clayton Jr, who helped inspire the film Cool Runnings, has died from coronavirus aged 58.

Clayton was part of the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team that qualified for the Winter Olympic Games and were seen as major underdogs as they represented a tropical nation in the winter sport.

He was not one of the four competitors that crashed during their final race, but teammate Devon Harris referred to him as an "integral part" of the group.

The Jamaican bobsled team - who finished outside the medal places - later inspired the 1993 American comedy sports film Cool Runnings which loosely followed their journey in the Calgary Games.

Clayton died from the deadly Covid-19 bug on March 31, as three-time Olympian Harris paid tribute to his former colleague.

"I am saddened by the news of the passing of my teammate Samuel Clayton," he said.

Sam Clayton Jr. died from coronavirus
Sam Clayton Jr. died from coronavirus

"Although he never made the Olympic team Sammy was an integral part of the Jamaica bobsled team.

"He was among the very first four selected to spearhead Jamaica's entrance into winter sports and the Winter Olympics.

"He was an amazing human being who will be sadly missed."

Clayton went on to work as a music producer and sound engineer for artists worldwide, with UK band Steele Purse paying tribute to the tragic star.

"Most important of all, in this thieving, cutthroat music industry of ours, he was trustworthy," singer David R Hinds said.

"Where Sam towered over the rest of his peers, is that he held dearly every task he did, no matter how small, or how tedious.

"They all got his relentless undivided attention."

Clayton leaves behind his wife, Annie, a daughter, three sons and three grandchildren.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

Originally published as Bobsledder behind 'Cool Runnings' dies


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