Contrary to the story in movie, the Jamaican team was met with open arms by the international Bobsledding teams. One of the other teams even went so far as to lend the Jamaican team a back-up sled so they could qualify.
In the sport of bobsledding, adding weight to the sled is perfectly legal. In fact, sometimes it's a safety measure. Both two and four-man sleds have minimum and maximum weights. The weight of the sled is calculated as the total weight of the sled and its crew. If the fully loaded sled weighs less than the maximum, it is perfectly legal to add weight to make up the difference.
Final John Candy starring film to be released before he died of a heart attack five months later. Candy later appeared in Wagons East (1994) when he died during filming. As such, Wagons East (1994) was being filmed at the time of his death and was released posthumously. His few remaining scenes were either not filmed, or were filmed using a stand-in, then re-written not to involve him. His second bar sequence re-uses footage from his earlier bar sequence. Wagons East (1994) ends with a dedication that reads: "Dedicated to the memory of John Candy".
On January 18, 2014 the Jamaican bobsled team qualified for the 2 man bobsled at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. They have described themselves as "Cool Runnings, The Second Generation." In light of the team's qualification for the 2014 Olympics, Dudley Stokes, one of the original 1988 team and now general secretary of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation, said "I don't think the support for the team, like we've seen over the last three days, would have been sustainable without the ongoing appeal of the movie". The team received funding from many sources, including one donation campaign held by the online community for the cryptocurrency Dogecoin.
In the German dubbing of this movie, the Swiss bobsledders ("eins, zwei, drei"), have been re-dubbed with a strong Swiss accent ("ace, zwoo, droo"). When the other characters imitate them, they also imitate the accent. In the original English version Hochdeutsch (standard German) is spoken.
The Jamaican bobsled team, debuted at the same Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1988, as Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards, the latter of whom's story is depicted in the later film Eddie the Eagle (2016).
Actor Doug E. Doug became attached to the movie in 1990. He said in 1993: "I found Cool Runnings (1993) three years ago, when my agent had it on his desk. I knew about the actual event it's based on, the Jamaican bobsled team that went to the '88 Olympics, and even though it's based pretty loosely I thought it made a great yarn." In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, he said: "I got the offer to play Sanka, the guy I'd wanted to play from the very beginning." When Doug E. Doug signed on to do the film, Jeremiah S. Chechik was still attached to direct the film.
The film's key major setting was the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta in Canada. The movie's top billed lead star, actor-comedian John Candy was Canadian, having been born in Toronto in the Canadian province of Ontario in Canada.
The movie filmed in two countries, in Canada and Jamaica. The production first shot in the wintry Calgary in Canada first to capitalize on the snow then lensed in Jamaica, filming in two locations there, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
Actor Leon said of the film: "The script has been following me around for 3 1/2 years." In an interview with The Seattle Times, he said: "I was signed more than a year before we actually started." When Leon signed on to do the film, Brian Gibson was still attached to direct the film.
The Jamaican bobsledder characters in the movie were all fictional characterizations and were not based on their real life counterparts. John Candy's Irving "Irv" Blitzer coach character is also fictional.
The "International Alliance of Winter Sports" bobsled governing organization featured in the movie is fictional. The real life bobsledding governing body is actually called the "International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation".
Jeff Sagansky, then president of TriStar Pictures, bought the rights to the Jamaican bobsledders' story in 1989. Producer Dawn Steel got involved with the project when it shifted from TriStar to Columbia Pictures. Michael Ritchie, who received a story credit, was originally interested in producing the film with Fran Rubel Kuzui as director. After leaving Columbia, Steel managed to convince Walt Disney Pictures to greenlight the project after the script was rewritten, the budget shortened, and Kuzui replaced by another director.
The movie documents events at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics as did the later movie Eddie the Eagle (2016). Cool Runnings (1993) was made and released about twenty-three years before Eddie the Eagle (2016). Both movies feature protagonists who competed at the same Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988 and were not medal winners but were struggling and ridiculed competitors who showed great spirit and determination.
Canada has hosted the Winter Olympics twice. The first time in 1988 in Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta, as depicted in this movie, then about twenty-two years later, in 2010 in Vancouver in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
In addition to the film's solo DVD and home videocassette releases, the movie was also later released on a DVD double bill with Disney's later snowbound movie, Snow Dogs (2002), which was made and released just under a decade after. Cuba Gooding Jr., who stars in Snow Dogs (2002), was considered to play one of the Jamaican Bobsledders in Cool Runnings (1993),